The U.S. budget surplus was $2 billion at the end of December, down 96 percent from the same period last year, according to data released by the Treasury Department on Tuesday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a surplus of $3 billion last month. The surplus was $53 billion in December of 2013.
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The fiscal year-to-date deficit at the end of December was $177 billion compared with a deficit of $173 billion in the comparable period last year.
Last month's budget results were affected by differences in the calendar. If adjusted for timing-related transactions, the budget surplus in December would have been $11 billion.
Receipts for the month totaled $335 billion, up 18 percent from a year ago, the monthly budget statement said, bringing the year-to-date total receipts to $739 billion.
Outlays last month were at $333 billion, up 44 percent from last year, for a year-to-date total of $916 billion.
(Reporting by Elvina Nawaguna; Editing by Paul Simao)