12 Apr '11, 10pm

US sees deficit increase

WASHINGTON: The US budget deficit shot up 15.7 per cent in the first six months of fiscal 2011, the Treasury Department said Wednesday as political knives were being sharpened for a new budget battle. The Treasury reported a deficit of $829 billion for the October-March period, compared with $717 billion a year earlier, as revenue rose a sluggish 6.9 per cent as the economic recovery slowly gained pace. The Treasury argued that the pace of increase in the deficit was deceptive because of large one-off reductions in expenditures made during the first half of fiscal 2010, compared with previous and subsequent periods. Those included a $115 billion reduction in funds spent on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) -- the financial institution bailout program -- in March 2010. But 2011 so far has also seen significant increases in spending on defence, Social Security, health...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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