The Week Ahead

FEDERAL BUDGET Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2 p.m.

The federal government will probably post a deficit of about $20 billion in December, compared with $14.8 billion last December. The high costs of Desert Shield, along with increasing interest payments and the thrift bailout, are pushing up outlays. Meanwhile, the sagging economy is holding back tax receipts, especially from the corporate sector. The expected December shortfall would mean that the U. S. government racked up a deficit of almost $100 billion in just the first quarter of fiscal 1991, which began in October. And the numbers are sure to worsen as the recession cuts further into tax payments as it also raises demands on entitlement programs. That means the 1991 deficit could exceed $300 billion.

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