The Treasury Department said Friday that the budget deficit increased by $192.3 billion in March, and is near $1 trillion just halfway through the budget year, as costs of the financial bailout and recession mount.
Last month’s deficit, a record for March, was significantly higher than the $150 billion that economists expected.
The deficit already totals $956.8 billion for the first six months of the budget year, also a record for that period. The Obama administration projects the deficit for the entire year will hit $1.75 trillion.
A deficit at that level would nearly quadruple the previous annual record of $454.8 billion set last year. The March deficit was nearly four times the size of the imbalance in the same month last year.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated last month that President Barack Obama’s budget proposals would produce $9.3 trillion in deficits over the next decade, a figure $2.3 trillion higher than estimates made in February in the administration’s first budget proposal.