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U.S. budget deficit records 13.5 bln in December

The U.S. federal budget deficit recorded 13.5 billion U.S. dollars in December, the Treasury Department said Wednesday.

That's about a 40-percent decline from the 23.2 billion dollars recorded in December 2017. Total outlays were down by 4 percent from a year ago, and total revenues were down by 6.6 percent.

The top three outlays in December were 84 billion dollars on social security, 57 billion dollars on national defense and 48 billion dollars on health.

The data was released about a month behind schedule due to the 35-day partial federal government shutdown which ended in late January.

In November, the budget deficit spiked to a record 204.9 billion dollars, a 48-percent growth from the 138.5 billion recorded in the same month in 2017.

According to data released by the department on Tuesday, the U.S. public debt stands at 22.01 trillion dollars as of Feb. 11, reaching a record high.

Analysts said the U.S. administration's 1.5-trillion-dollar tax cut and increased government spending have fueled the rapid increase in budget deficits and public debt.

The Congressional Budget Office last month estimated that federal budget deficit is about to reach 900 billion dollars in 2019 and will exceed 1 trillion dollars each year beginning in 2022.

(www.chinaview.cn 2019-02-15)