WASHINGTON - The U.S. government's deficit in the first three months of the budget year was a record-breaking $572.9 billion, 60.7% higher than the same period a year ago, as spending to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic surged while revenue declined.
The Treasury Department reported Wednesday that three months into the budget year, the deficit was $216.3 billion higher than the same October-December period a year ago.
In addition to direct payments, the December relief bill extended two special unemployment benefit programs aimed at cushioning the pandemic’s blow.
The CBO forecast for this year was made before the December relief package was passed and also does not take into account any extra spending that Congress may pass after Biden takes office.
The unemployment benefits have totalled $80 billion from October through December, up from $5 billion during the same period in the last budget year.