The Washington Post

Budget deficit hits record $1.7 trillion


The U.S. government’s budget deficit surged to an all-time high of $1.7 trillion for the first six months of this budget year, nearly double the previous record, as another round of economic support checks added billions of dollars to spending last month.

In its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit for the first half of the budget year — from October through March — was up from a shortfall of $743.5 billion for the same period a year ago.

The deficit has been driven higher by trillions of dollars in support Congress has passed in economic rescue packages since the pandemic struck in early March 2020.

The latest round came in a $1.9 trillion measure that President Biden pushed through Congress last month.

The budget report showed that the deficit for just March totaled $659.6 billion, the thirdhighe­st monthly deficit. For the six-month period, the

$1.7 trillion deficit total surpassed the previous record of an $829 billion deficit run up for the six months that ended March 2011, when the government was spending to counter the adverse effects of the recession caused by the 2008 financial crisis.

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