Gov’t report: Budget deficit to rise to $544B this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new government report estimates that this year’s budget deficit will rise to $544 billion, an increase over prior estimates that can be attributed largely to tax cuts and spending increases passed by Congress last month.

The estimate from the Congressional Budget Office also sees the economy growing at a significantly slower pace this year than it predicted just a few months ago. It projects the economic growth will slow to 2.7 percent this year; it foresaw 3.0 percent growth in 2016 in last summer’s prediction.

Over the coming decade, CBO predicts deficits totaling $9.4 trillion. That’s up $1.5 trillion from its August estimate, with much of the increase mostly due to last month’s tax legislation, which permanently extended several tax cuts that Congress had typically renewed temporarily.

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