US budget deficit hits $188bn in March

City A.M. Reporter
The United States posted a monthly budget deficit of $188bn (£115bn) in March as the government spent more than twice what it took in last month, the Treasury Department has said.

The Treasury said the cumulative deficit through the first half of fiscal 2011, which began on October 1, was a record $829bn, about 16 per cent higher than the prior year's $717bn first-half shortfall.

The monthly budget deficit was the second largest shortfall recorded in any March, outsized only by the $192bn gap posted in March 2009.

The monthly shortfall was just shy of the $189bn forecast of economists polled by Reuters.