US posts record breaking deficit
Business Inquirer/Reuters
April 11, 2008

WASHINGTON—The US government turned in a $48.14-billion budget deficit for March and a record deficit for the first six months of the fiscal year despite record receipts for the month, the US Treasury said on Thursday.

The March deficit compared with a year-earlier deficit of $96.27 billion and with the $71.0-billion deficit forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

For the first six months of the fiscal year, the Department of Treasury saw a record $311.4-billion deficit which broke the previous record of a mid-year budget gap of $302.9 billion set in fiscal year 2006.

Federal outlays for March were $227.0 billion—a 14-percent decrease from the $262.8 billion spent a year earlier.

A Treasury spokeswoman said that March is normally a deficit month and there were fewer payments this March than in other years due to the calendar.

In the first six months of the year, total receipts were $1.146 billion, a two-percent uptick from the same time last year. The current economic slowdown, though, is expected to hurt government receipts as poor growth means less tax revenue.

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