CHICAGO (CBS) — The City of Chicago’s 2013 budget gap now stands at $298 million–after belt-tightening knocked $71 million off the total.

City Budget Director Alexandra Holt says it’s the smallest shortfall since 2008 at the start of the recession.

“Those pre-recession [deficit] numbers are anywhere from $70 million to $200 million,” Holt told WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore. “But as soon as you hit the recession, you begin to see the budget gaps increase, starting at $400 million and then going well over $600 million.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says a boost in hotel stays and property sales in an improving economy helped boost revenue.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Michelle Fiore Reports