Deficit Jumps After Hurricane Payouts

Associated Press
Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The federal deficit rose sharply in November as spending raced ahead of tax receipts. The Treasury Department said yesterday that the $83.1 billion was the biggest imbalance ever recorded in November.

For the first two months of the 2006 budget year, which began Oct. 1, the deficit was $130.3 billion, 13.1 percent higher than the $115.2 billion deficit during the same period last year.

Most analysts are forecasting that the budget deficit will rise to about $350 billion this fiscal year, reflecting in part increased federal spending for reconstruction in the states devastated by the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The 2005 deficit narrowed to $318.5 billion after hitting an all-time high of $413 billion in 2004.

For November, revenues totaled $138.8 billion, up 3.2 percent from November a year ago. Spending totaled $221.9 billion, up 15.3 percent from November 2004.

Analysts said the increase in part reflected higher payouts of flood insurance claims by the Department of Homeland Security related to Hurricane Katrina.

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