US budget deficit nears $1 trillion: Treasury
The US budget deficit accelerated in March to hit a record nearly one trillion dollars just halfway through the current fiscal year, as the government moved to bail out troubled institutions, government data showed Friday.
The deficit for the first six months of the fiscal year which began on October 1 was 956.80 billion dollars, according to the Treasury's monthly statement of receipts and outlays.
Receipts during the six-month period to March 2009 were 989.83 billion dollars while outlays amounted to nearly 1.95 trillion dollars, the data showed.
The March deficit of 192.27 billion dollars was higher than the 160 billion dollars expected by most analysts, coming on the back of money poured by President Barack Obama's administration to rescue financial institutions.
All six months of the fiscal year so far recorded red ink. The last time the United States plunged into a consecutive six month deficit was during the October 2003-March 2004 period, officials said.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecast last month the budget deficit could hit 1.845 trillion dollars for the whole year based on Obama's 3.5-trillion-dollar budget plan approved by Congress early this month.
The CBO said its budget deficit estimate for fiscal 2009, which ends on September 30, would be four times the 2008 record shortfall and amount to 13.1 percent of the country's total economic output.