Thursday, March 13, 2008

US Feb budget gap balloons to record $175.56 bln

The U.S. government turned in a $175.56 billion budget deficit for February, a record for any month, as federal spending grew but a slowing economy caused receipts to fall 12.1 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. Treasury said on Wednesday.

The February deficit soundly beat the previous all-time single-month deficit of $119.99 billion in February 2007 and also exceeded Wall Street economists' consensus estimate of a $160.0 billion deficit in a Reuters poll.

February receipts fell to $105.72 billion from $120.31 billion in February 2007, the Treasury said as both corporate and individual income tax payments slowed.

February outlays grew to $281.29 billion, a record for February, from $240.30 billion in February 2007, the Treasury said.

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