Deficit lowest since 2008 meltdown.

Deficit lowest since 2008 meltdown.

Tax increases, spending cuts and a stronger economy nearly sliced America’s budget deficit in half in fiscal 2013, lowering it to the lowest level since 2008, Treasury Department data showed on Wednesday. [Fox News]

THE LATEST economics news from the Treasury Department was delayed due to the shutdown. It shows the deficit down to the lowest it’s been since the great recession that started in 2007, under the Bush administration.

Currently, the Congress is negotiating a budget deal between a 29-member group of lawmakers that have until December 13 to come up with a plan.

Several factors have contributed to the strong improvement in the nation’s near-term fiscal picture. They include an improving economy and a mix of fiscal restraint — primarily, the expiration of stimulus measures, the imposition of across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester, and tax increases on high-income households during the 2013 fiscal year, which ended September 30. [CNN Money]