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U.S. Deficit Up for First Time Since 2009 on Spending Surge

  • Receipts rise 1%, outlays increase 5% in year, Treasury says
  • Deficit as a share of GDP near 40-year average: Treasury
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Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
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The U.S. budget deficit as a share of the economy widened for the first time in seven years, marking a turning point in the nation’s fiscal outlook as an aging population boosts government spending and debt.

Spending exceeded revenue by $587.4 billion in the 12 months to Sept. 30, compared with a $439.1 billion deficit in fiscal 2015, the Treasury Department said Friday in a report released in Washington. That was in line with a Congressional Budget Office estimate on Oct. 7 for a shortfall of $588 billion. As a share of gross domestic product, the shortfall rose to 3.2 percent from 2.5 percent a year earlier, the first such increase since 2009, government figures show.