DEFICIT SHRINKS: The federal deficit is running lower through the first four months of the budget year than the previous year. Through January, it totaled $349 billion _ $70 billion less than the same period last year.
MONTHLY DECLINE: The monthly deficit in January was $27 billion, compared to $50 billion a year earlier. The deficit was smaller because of several accounting changes. But rising revenue from individual income taxes also helped.
STILL HUGE: The Congressional Budget Office forecast last week that the deficit will top $1 trillion this year for the fourth straight year.