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Strategies & Market Trends : Piffer OT - And Other Assorted Nuts

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To: Augustus Gloop who wrote (63503)11/21/2002 3:18:10 PM
From: Lost1   of 63513
UPDATE - U.S. gov't posts $53.99 bln budget deficit in October
Thursday November 21, 3:03 pm ET

WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. government kicked off the new fiscal year in the red, posting a $53.99 billion budget shortfall, the Treasury Department said on Thursday.

The gap in the first month of the 2003 budget year was larger than Wall Street analysts had been anticipating and was up sharply from October 2001's $7.66 billion shortfall.

However, October 2001 revenues were inflated by the delay of a corporate tax payment date. As part of the 10-year, $1.35 trillion tax cut enacted by Congress in 2001, one of four quarterly tax dates for companies was pushed from September 2001 to October 2001, artificially boosting the 2002 budget year's revenues by about $23 billion, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.

In the 2002 budget year, which ended Sept. 30, the government posted a budget shortfall of $157.67 billion, the first annual deficit since 1997.

The 2002 budget gap had originally been reported as $158.52 billion. The Treasury said the revised figure, released Thursday, was due to additional reporting from various government agencies that resulted in less spending.

While the White House is projecting a $109 billion gap for the new budget year, private sector forecasts have ranged up to $200 billion. Economists polled by Reuters prior to the October report's release had forecast a $47.20 billion shortfall for the month.

The return to deficits has led Democrats to fault the Bush administration's economic policies. But the Republican-led administration has blamed the shortfalls on lower revenues due to the weak economy and the falling stock market.

In October, government revenues totaled $124.93 billion, down from $157.16 billion in the same month a year ago. The decline was led by a 13 percent drop in personal individual tax revenues, which along with Social Security monies, make up the bulk of the government's income.

Spending was also up sharply, rising to $178.93 billion from $164.82 billion in October 2001. Defense spending alone totaled $30.39 billion, reflecting the war on terrorism and the buildup for a possible military confrontation with Iraq. In October 2001, defense spending was $26.37 billion.

Medicare spending also jumped, rising to $21.68 billion from $17.17 billion, the Treasury said.
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