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Federal deficit higher in October by quirk of calendar

(AP) The federal government started the new budget year with a higher deficit in October, but the increase reflected quirks in the calendar rather than a deterioration in the government’s budget outlook. The Treasury Department says the deficit last month was $121.7 billion, up $31.1 billion from a year ago. However, that deterioration reflected the fact that the government had to send out $41 billion in November benefit payments in October because Nov. 1 fell on a Saturday. October is the first month in the 2015 budget year. The deficit for 2014 dropped to $483.3 billion, the smallest imbalance since 2008. The expectation is that the deficit will improve further this year. The Congressional Budget Office is projecting a $469 billion deficit for 2015.