WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. federal budget deficit jumped in February from January, though it is still running well below last year's pace. Higher taxes and an improving economy are expected to hold the deficit below $1 trillion for the first time since President Barack Obama took office.
The Treasury Department says the deficit grew in February by $203.5 billion. That followed a small surplus of $2.9 billion in January. And February's gap was $28 billon smaller than the same month a year ago.
Through the first five months of the budget year that began on Oct. 1, the deficit is $494 billion. That's nearly $87 billion lower than the budget gap for the same period a year ago.
The Congressional Budget Office forecasts that this year's deficit will total $845 billion.
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