US budget deficit up sharply to $108 billion in March

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government's budget deficit rose sharply in March, pushing the deficit for the first six months of this budget year above the same period a year ago.

The Treasury Department says the deficit for March totaled $108.0 billion. That marks the biggest March deficit in four years and was more than double the imbalance in March 2015.

The large jump from a year ago reflected calendar shifts, which had made the 2015 deficit look smaller because $36 billion in benefit payments were shifted into February.

Through the first six months of this budget year that began on Oct. 1, the deficit totals $461.0 billion. That represents an increase of 4.9 percent from the same period a year ago. The Congressional Budget is forecasting a higher deficit for the full year.