U.S. budget deficit hits $176.2 billion in March

Washington • The federal government ran a budget deficit in March that was sharply higher than a year ago, largely because of a hitch in the calendar. Through the first half of this budget year, the deficit is running almost 15 percent higher than the same period a year ago. The Treasury Department reported Wednesday that 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 w...

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