U.S. Budget Gap Quintupled in January on Pandemic Aid Spending

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The U.S. federal budget deficit widened in January to about five times the year-earlier level, reflecting spending on pandemic relief payments approved by Congress during the prior month.

The gap increased to $162.8 billion last month, from $32.6 billion in January 2020, according to a Treasury Department report Wednesday. In the first four months of the fiscal year that began in October, the deficit amounted to $735.7 billion — a record for the period — compared with $389.2 billion a year earlier, before the coronavirus struck. The report, the first…

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