The federal government ran a lower deficit this July than a year ago, keeping it on course to record the lowest deficit in six years.

The Treasury Department says that the July deficit was $94.6 billion, an improvement of 3.1 percent from a year ago.

For the first 10 months of this budget year, the deficit totals $460.5 billion, down 24.2 percent from the same period a year ago.

The Congressional Budget Office expects this year's deficit to total around $500 billion, down from $680.2 billion last year. That would be the lowest deficit since an imbalance of $458.6 billion in 2008, which was a record at the time. However, the Great Recession sent deficits above $1 trillion for four straight years.