The U.S. government ran a much larger budget deficit in July than a year ago. But much of the deterioration reflects a calendar quirk that shifted billions of dollars in August benefit payments to July.
The Treasury Department says the July deficit totaled $149.2 billion, up from a deficit of $94.6 billion a year earlier.
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The deterioration stems from the fact that Aug. 1 fell on a Saturday. As a result, the government paid out $42 billion in August benefits in late July.
Through the first 10 months of this budget year, the deficit totals $465.5 billion, 1.1 percent higher than a year ago. The Congressional Budget Office believes the deficit for the full year will drop to around $425 billion, the lowest deficit since 2007.