New York (CNNMoney.com) - The U.S. government is racking up debt at a slower pace than last year, according to Treasury Department figures released Monday.
In the first six months of the fiscal year, the U.S. government fell $717 billion further into the red, the Treasury Department reported Monday, including a $65.4 billion deficit in March. That means the deficit for fiscal 2010, which started in October, is down 8% from $781.4 billion in the same period last year.
The Treasury Department is forecasting that the deficit will hit $1.56 trillion this year, up from the record $1.4 trillion losses posted last year.
March's shortfall, the 18th consecutive monthly deficit, was down from the $191.6 billion in the red posted a year ealier. Just before the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, the government reported a monthly gain, which reduced its overall debt by $45.7 billion.