By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer
The federal budget deficit is rapidly approaching $1 trillion for a fourth straight year even though the government is collecting more tax revenue than last year.
The Treasury Department says the deficit grew by $124.6 billion in May. That put the deficit through the first eight months of the budget year at $844.5 billion, or 8.9 percent below last year's imbalance for the same period.
Still, the Congressional Budget office forecasts that the deficit for the entire 2012 budget year, which ends Sept. 30, will total $1.17 trillion. That's only a slight improvement from the $1.3 trillion deficit recorded in 2011.
So far this year, government receipts are running 5.3 percent higher than a year ago. A better job market and modest economic growth have led to higher tax revenue.