February Budget Deficit Swells to Four Times January Figure

Associated Press

The federal budget deficit surged to $24.58 billion in February, four times higher than the January imbalance, the Treasury Department reported Friday.

The department said the deficit for the first five months of the 1986 fiscal year is running 5.7% ahead of the deficit for the same period in fiscal 1985.

However, the Administration is projecting that the deficit for the entire fiscal year will be $202.79 billion, down 4.5% from the record $212.3-billion deficit set in the last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

Gramm-Rudman Cuts

Part of that improvement will come from $11.7 billion in budget cuts that went into effect March 1. Those cuts were required under the Gramm-Rudman deficit-reduction law and were allowed to go into effect even though the Supreme Court is reviewing whether a crucial section of the law is constitutional.

In January, the deficit shrank to $6.49 billion, the low point of this fiscal year. The big upturn in February came from a sharp drop in government revenues, which totaled $53.37 billion last month, down 30.4% from January.

Government spending last month totaled $77.95 billion, down 6.3% from January.

For the first five months of the fiscal year, government revenues totaled $307.32 billion, 5.8% ahead of a year ago. Government spending totaled $413.52 billion.

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