The U.S. posted a record December surplus of $53.2B in December in what was a turnaround from a deficit of $1.19B a year earlier. Consensus was for a surplus of $44B.
Revenue rose to $283.2B from $269.5B while spending fell to $230B from $270.7B.
In the first three month of FY 2014, the deficit dropped to $173.6B from $293.3B.
Higher payroll taxes, payments from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, sequestration and falling unemployment all contributed to the improvement in the government's finances.