US government posts $9 billion surplus in January
A security guard walks in front of an image of the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC, U.S., March 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

The U.S. federal government posted a $9 billion surplus in January, according to data released on Tuesday by the Treasury Department.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a $25 billion surplus for the month.

The Treasury said federal spending in January was $331 billion, up 6 percent from the same month in 2018, while receipts were $340 billion, down 6 percent compared to January 2018.

The deficit for the fiscal year to date was $310 billion, compared with $176 billion in the comparable period the year earlier.

When adjusted for calendar effects, the budget was in balance in January 2019, compared with a $30 billion surplus the prior year.

Reporting by Andrea Ricci