US budget deficit running 418 per cent above last year

WASHINGTON — The federal budget deficit in December totalled $13.5 billion, helping to push the deficit for the first three months of this budget year up 41.8 per cent from the same period the previous year.The Treasury Department says that the budget total from October through December totals $318.9 billion, up from a deficit of $225 billion for the same three months in the previous year.So far this budget year, tax revenue is up a tiny 0.2 per cent, reflecting the impacts of the tax cuts passed in 2017. Spending is up 9.6 per cent.The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that this year’s deficit will jump to $897 billion, up 15.1 per cent from last year’s deficit of $779 billion. Last year’s deficit had been the largest since 2012.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press

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