US budget deficit widens $139 billion in May

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By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says the U.S. budget deficit widened in May by $139 billion, but the annual deficit stayed on track to finish below $1 trillion for the first time since 2008.

With the May increase, the deficit through the first eight months of this budget year totaled $626 billion. That's down $218 billion lower than the same period last year.

Steady economic growth and higher tax rates have boosted the government's tax revenue by 15 percent this year. At the same time, government spending has barely increased.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the deficit won't grow much before the budget year ends on Sept. 30. It forecasts an annual deficit of $642 billion, down from last year's imbalance of $1.09 trillion.

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