Budget deficit widens by $139B
The government reported Wednesday that the U.S. budget deficit widened in May by $139 billion. But the annual deficit stayed on track to finish below $1 trillion for the first time since 2008.
Steady economic growth and higher tax rates have boosted the government’s tax revenue. At the same time, government spending barely has increased.
With the May increase, the deficit through the first eight months of this budget year totaled $626 billion, according to the Treasury. That’s $218 billion lower than the same period last year.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the deficit won’t grow much before the budget year ends Sept. 30. It forecasts an annual deficit of $642 billion. If correct, that would be well below last year’s deficit of $1.09 trillion and the lowest in five years. It still would be the fifth-largest deficit in U.S. history.
Chrysler recalling 6,900 Ram trucks
Chrysler Group is recalling 6,900 heavy-duty Ram pickup trucks from the 2012 model-year because part of the front axle could fracture and cause them to lose power.
The automaker said Wednesday that the front prop shaft, which connects the engine to the axle, can bind or fracture.
Chrysler investigated the issue after getting two reports of damage. The company says it doesn’t know of any accidents or injuries related to the defect.
The recall involves 5,600 Ram 4500 and 5500 trucks in the U.S. and 1,300 in Canada.
Chrysler will notify owners. Dealers will repair or replace the front axles for free.
American to add seats to some planes
American Airlines expects to add more seats to some of its planes, which could mean less leg room for passengers.
The airline’s parent company, AMR Corp., disclosed the move in a regulatory filing Wednesday.
American’s vice president of flight service, Lauri Curtis, said the airline constantly examines its operations, including trying to match the number of seats with travel demand.
Curtis said airline officials expect to add seats on Boeing 737 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jets, “but we haven’t yet determined the right number of seats, and as a result, the impact on revenue and cost.”