Business Briefs

Delta Air Lines reported $4.8 billion in profit for 2019, a year of rapid growth and low fuel costs for the Atlanta-based carrier.

CEO Ed Bastian called it the best year in the company’s history. The $4.8 billion in net income was up 21% from 2018.

It was also a year in which Delta became the largest airline in the world measured by revenue.

Delta saw its revenue grow 6% to $47 billion last year.

The airline’s revenue growth allowed it to inch ahead of American Airlines, which has for several years been the world’s largest airline in revenue and other measures after merging with US Airways in 2013.

Delta got a benefit last year due to the fact that it does not fly the Boeing 737 Max, which was grounded last year after two fatal plane crashes. American, United and Southwest had to cancel flights due to the grounding, and Delta picked up some of the traffic.

The U.S. budget deficit widened to $356.6 billion in the first three months of fiscal 2020 as spending rose more than revenue, keeping the federal shortfall on pace to exceed $1 trillion by year-end.

The gap increased 11.8% from the $318.9 billion in October-December of the previous year, the Treasury Department said in its monthly budget report Monday. Government outlays increased 6.7%, while receipts rose 4.6%. The U.S. posted a $13.3 billion deficit in December alone compared with $13.5 billion a year earlier.

The three biggest spending categories are Social Security, national defense and Medicare, which all increased in the quarter. Outlays rose to $285 billion for social security, to $187 billion for the military and to $393 billion for Medicare and Medicaid. Those overshadowed corporate income taxes, which jumped by 23% to $65 billion, and individual taxes which were about 3% higher at $385 billion.

— Bulletin wire reports

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