US budget deficit in first half totaled $439.5 billion, bigger than previous year

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The deficit through the first half of the budget year is running slightly above last year's pace, with the March imbalance up $16 billion over a year ago.

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The Treasury Department says the March deficit totaled $52.9 billion compared to a deficit of $36.9 billion in March 2014. Through the first six months of the budget year, the deficit totals $439.5 billion, 6.3 percent higher than last year's six-month deficit of $413.3 billion.

The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting that the deficit for the whole year will likely total $486 billion, very close to the 2014 deficit of $483.4 billion.

Congress is returning from a two-week recess facing what is expected to be months of wrangling among Republicans and the Obama administration and Democratic lawmakers over competing budget plans.