Budget deficit hits record $222.5 billion in February

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The government posted a record monthly budget deficit of $222.5 billion in February as spending growth outstripped revenue gains that were crimped by tax cuts enacted late last year, the Treasury Department reported on Thursday.

The budget gap for February -- typically a large deficit month -- beat the previous record of $220.91 billion set in February 2010. But it came in under the consensus forecast of a $227.5 billion gap from analysts polled by Reuters.

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The Treasury said the cumulative deficit through the first five months of fiscal 2011 was $641.26 billion, down from $651.6 billion in the same period a year earlier.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by James Dalgleish)