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The US budget deficit reached a record $ 1.7 trillion last year

WASHINGTON (AP) – The US government’s budget deficit in the first six months of this fiscal year reached a record $ 1.7 trillion, almost double the previous record as billions of dollars were added in another round of economic aid checks. last month

The Ministry of Finance said in its monthly budget report on Monday that the deficit in the first half of the budget year, from October to March, increased from a deficit of $ 743.5 billion in the same period last year.

The deficit was raised with the help of trillions of dollars, which Congress passed through successive economic rescue packages as the epidemic took place in 2020. In early March. The final round was the $ 1.9 trillion that President Biden introduced to Congress last month.

Biden’s package included individual assistance payments of up to $ 1,400, and the administration rushed to make those payments as soon as Biden signed the law. The treasury said in a statement that March payments totaled $ 339 billion.

The budget report showed that the March deficit alone was $ 659.6 billion, the third largest monthly deficit. The $ 1.7 trillion deficit in six months surpassed the previous record of $ 829 billion in deficit, which ended in March 2011 in six months, a period when the government was spending to overcome the adverse effects of the recession. 2008 financial crisis.

Last year’s deficit for the budget year ended September 30 was a record $ 3.1 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in February that this year’s deficit would be $ 2.3 trillion. But that estimate did not include the cost of Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion bailout plan, which Congress passed in March, or the impact of Biden’s “Build Better” infrastructure proposal, which Congress is currently considering.

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