Budget Gap Rose 61% in Q1

The Treasury Department said Wednesday the deficit from October through December totaled a record $573 billion, a 61% increase from the same period a year earlier (Wall Street Journal)

Federal outlays rose 18%, to $1.4 trillion, driven higher primarily by automatic safety-net spending such as jobless benefits, nutrition assistance and health care. Total receipts held steady, at $803 billion, the Treasury said.