Washington -- In a good news-bad news scenario, the Congressional Budget Office projected a budget deficit of $422 billion for fiscal year 2004 -- about $56 billion less than the agency had predicted in its March report -- but the highest in terms of dollars in U.S. history.

The CBO attributed the budget downsizing to higher-than-anticipated revenues. The office also pointed out that while the figure, 3.6 percent of the gross domestic product, represents an all-time high in terms of dollars, it would remain well below the peak budget deficit levels of the 1980s relative to the size of the economy.

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