Monday, March 12, 2012
The U.S. federal deficit was slightly smaller through the first five months of the budget year than the previous year. Still, the imbalance is on pace to exceed $1 trillion for the fourth straight year, a troubling sign for President Barack Obama's re-election prospects.
The Treasury Department says last month's budget deficit was $232 billion. The imbalance for the first five months of the budget year grew to $581 billion, or 9 percent lower than the same period in fiscal 2011.
The Obama administration expects the deficit will reach $1.3 trillion when the budget year ends on Sept. 30. That would nearly match last year's imbalance. The government ran a record deficit of $1.41 trillion in 2009 and a $1.29 trillion gap in 2010.