US budget gap for 2015 at $439 billion, lowest in 8 years

Barack Obama
FILE- In this Oct. 2, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama takes questions from members of the media in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. Buried in the 1,915-page defense policy bill are major changes that could affect more than 1 million members of the military and their families. Obama has threatened to veto the legislation as part of a larger budget debate on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. budget deficit for 2015 has fallen to its lowest level in eight years, spurred by gains in tax revenue that outpaced greater government spending.

The Treasury Department says the deficit in the just-completed 2015 budget year fell to $439 billion from $483 billion in 2014. It is equal to 2.5 percent of the economy, the smallest proportion since 2007, and below the average of the past 40 years.

The figures come as budget battles in Washington are intensifying. Congress and the White House face an early November deadline to raise the nation’s borrowing limit. Lawmakers are also seeking a separate agreement with the Obama administration on a budget to keep the government open past a Dec. 11 deadline.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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