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story.lead_photo.caption FILE- In this Feb. 22, 2019, file photo the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is visible in reflection in Washington. On Friday, March 22, the Treasury Department releases federal budget data for February. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON -- The federal government posted a record budget deficit in February, pushing the overall deficit for the first five months of the budget year up 39 percent from a year ago.

The Treasury Department said Friday in its monthly report that the deficit hit an all-time high for February of $234 billion. That surpasses the old February deficit record of $232 billion set in 2012, the last year the deficit for the year topped $1 trillion.

For the first five months of this budget year that began on Oct. 1, the deficit totals $544.2 billion, up from a deficit of $391 billion in the previous budget year.

In its new budget sent to Congress last week, the administration is projecting that this year's deficit will total $1.09 trillion and will remain above $1 trillion for the next four years.

The administration's 2019 forecast would represent a 40 percent increase from last year's deficit of $779 billion.

According to the forecast, this year's deficit will be the largest imbalance since the government had a $1.1 trillion deficit in 2012. That was the fourth straight year of trillion-dollar deficits during a period when the Obama administration had boosted spending to grapple with the 2008 financial crisis and lift the country out of the deepest recession since the 1930s.

Business on 03/25/2019

Print Headline: US budget deficit sets February record

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