WASHINGTON- The US Treasury Department posted a March budget deficit of$ 660 billion, a record high for the month, as direct payments to Americans were distributed under President Joe Biden's stimulus package on Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department said.
The deficit for the first six months of the 2021 fiscal year ballooned to a record$ 1.706 trillion compared to a deficit of$ 743 billion for the comparable year-earlier period. The first six months of fiscal 2020 did not include emergency funds to counter the coronavirus-related lockdowns that started in March 2020.
The March deficit, which included receipts of$ 268 billion and debt costs of$ 927 billion compared to a year-earlier deficit of$ 119 billion, was both record highs for this month.
A Treasury official said the March outlays were further increased by$ 339 billion in direct payments of$ 1,400, which were sent to many individuals under the American Rescue Plan Act enacted last month.
More funds from the stimulus package of$ 1.9 billion will roll out in the coming months, the official said, likely keeping outlays elevated.
For the first six months of fiscal 2021, the expenses were a record$ 3.410 trillion while receipts were$ 1.704 trillion, said the Treasury. Total payments in the six month period came to$ 487 billion, including those from a year-end stimulus package passed under former President Donald Trump, said Treasury official.