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December budget deficit sets record

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal budget deficit hit an all-time high for the month of December, and the red ink for the first three months of the current budget year is rising at a more rapid pace than last year’s record clip.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the deficit last month totaled $91.85 billion, the largest December deficit on record and a bigger imbalance than the $92 billion that economists had expected.

The massive tide of red ink, reflecting the continued fallout from a deep recession and a severe financial crisis, highlights the challenge facing President Barack Obama as he pledges to get control of runaway deficits.