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VOL. 41 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 07, 2017

US budget deficit hits $176.2 billion in March

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government ran a budget deficit in March that was sharply higher than a year ago because of special factors.

Through the first half of this budget year, the deficit is running 14.7 percent higher than the same period a year ago.

The Treasury Department says the deficit in March totaled $176.2 billion, compared to $108 billion in March of last year. A big part of that increase reflected $42 billion in April benefit payments that were shifted into March because April 1 fell on a Saturday this year.

Through the first six months of this budget year, the deficit totals $526.9 billion, up 14.7 percent from last year's six-month total of $459.4 billion.