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US budget deficit hits a record high for March
US budget deficit hits record high for March, staying on track for a fourth $1T annual gap
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The U.S. budget deficit is running slightly lower than last year's through the first six months of the budget year but is still on track to top $1 trillion for a fourth straight year.

The Treasury Department says the deficit in March totaled $198.2 billion, a record for the month. That left the gap through the first half of 2012 at $779 billion, down 6.1 percent from a year ago.

The Congressional Budget Office forecasts a deficit of $1.17 trillion for the entire 2012 budget year, which began Oct. 1. It would be a small improvement from last year's $1.3 trillion deficit. The chronic budget deficits are likely to be a top issue in the presidential election.

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