The U.S. government had a budget surplus of $59.1 billion in April on increased tax revenue and spending cuts, the first surplus in more than three years, the Treasury Department said Thursday.

The result beat a Bloomberg economist forecast of $35 billion. In April 2011 the government ran a $40.4 billion deficit. Receipts increased by 10 pecent to $318 billion compared to the prior year, and spending was down 21 percent to $259 billion.

Through the first seven months of the fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1, the deficit is $719 billion, $150 billion lower than the same time in 2011.

The Congressional Budget Office forecasts the budget to hit $1.17 trillion in the 2012 budget year.