U.S. budget deficit hit $176 billion in March

The federal government ran a budget deficit in March that was sharply higher than a year ago. Through the first half of this budget year, the deficit is running 14.7 percent higher than the same period a year ago.

The deficit totaled $176.2 billion in March, compared with $108 billion in March 2016, the Treasury Department said. A big part of that jump reflected $42 billion in April benefit payments shifted into March because April 1 fell on a Saturday. Through the first six months of this budget year, the deficit is $526.9 billion.

Associated Press

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— From news reports

Coming today

8:30 a.m.: Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims.

10 a.m.: Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.

Earnings: Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase.