The federal government's deficit for the first two months of the new budget year is down 21 percent from the same period a year ago, although much of that improvement is due to quirks in the calendar.
The Treasury Department says the deficit for November totaled $56.8 billion, a drop of 58 percent from last year's November deficit of $135.2 billion. For the first two months of the budget year that began Oct. 1, the deficit totals $178.5 billion, an improvement of 21 percent from the same period last year.
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However, the calendar heavily influenced the changes by shifting payment dates for various government benefits. Adjusting for those changes, Treasury says the deficit this year is still 6.8 percent lower than last year.