Americans are paying more taxes, a sure sign of economic recovery -- and one that has the federal budget deficit declining ever so slightly.
That's the word from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which just released its review of the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, which began in October.
The good news: Revenue increased 9% from the same period a year ago, while spending grew only 3%. That translated into a $371 billion deficit for three months, $18 billion less than in October-December 2009.
Biggest reason for the improvement: a $33 billion increase in taxes withheld "as a result of strengthening economic conditions," CBO says.