The federal government will run a deficit of $172 billion in fiscal 2007, the Congressional Budget Office said yesterday.The projected deficit will drop to $98 billion in 2008 and flatten out by 2012/ The deficit for the 2006 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, was $248 billion.

The budget has already shown signs of improving for the current fiscal year. For the first quarter, receipts outpaced those from the same period in 2006 by $43 billion – although spending for the period has risen $8 billion, year over year. As a result, in contrast to the $119 billion deficit recorded for the first quarter of 2006, the government ran an $85 billion deficit for the first quarter of 2007.

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