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U.S. Posts $36.32 Billion Budget Deficit in July

The U.S. government posted a $36.32 billion budget deficit in July, a 9.5 percent increase from the deficit of $33.16 billion recorded a year earlier in July 2006, the Treasury Department said on Friday.

But so far during the first 10 months of fiscal 2007 that ends on Sept. 30, the cumulative deficit has fallen by 34 percent to $157.29 billion from $239.65 billion in the comparable ten-month period in fiscal 2006.

July is typically a budget deficit month and this year both outlays and receipts climbed from a year ago.

The federal government took in total receipts of $170.44 billion last month, up 6.7 percent from $159.76 billion in July 2006. Outlays rose to $206.76 billion from $192.93 billion in July last year.

The latest cumulative deficit figures indicate the government is on track to significantly reduce the full fiscal 2007 deficit from the $248.2 billion shortfall reported for fiscal 2006.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated earlier this month that the U.S. budget deficit this year will shrink to between $150 billion and $200 billion.

Steady if moderate economic growth that has boosted corporate profits has boosted tax revenues and helped narrow the shortfall between the government's spending and its income.

Treasury said that, in the first 10 months of fiscal 2007, its total receipts hit a record $2.116 trillion, up from $1.970 trillion in the comparable period in fiscal 2006.

Outlays also were a record at $2.273 trillion in the 10 months compared with $2.209 trillion in the year-earlier period.

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