U.S. May Budget Deficit Less Than Half of Last Year's

The U.S. budget deficit fell sharply in May to $57.64 billion, less than half the shortfall of $135.93 billion in May a year ago as tax revenues continued to rise, the Treasury Department reported on Friday.

The monthly deficit was far below the $140 billion gap that economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast.

So far in the first eight months of fiscal 2011, which ends Sept. 30, the cumulative deficit is $927.44 billion. That is down from $935.61 billion in the comparable period in fiscal 2010.