NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The government said Friday the federal budget deficit for the first half of fiscal 2009 jumped to $956.8 billion, more than $500 billion above the gap for all of the prior fiscal year.
The Treasury Department said the federal budget deficit grew by $192.3 billion in March, according to the report released Friday.
Economists were expecting the budget deficit to grow by $160 billion in March, according to a consensus estimate compiled by Briefing.com.
In February, the government added $192.8 billion to the deficit. Last March, the government added $48.2 billion to the deficit.
The deficit for the year that began in October is 110% above the $454.8 billion gap in all of fiscal 2008.
The government has been spending at a record pace recently in an effort to pull the economy out of recession, jumpstart lending, and recapitalize the nation's financial system.