Budget Gap in U.S. Widens

The budget deficit in the U.S. widened over the first six months of fiscal 2015 as spending on Social Security and health services increased, a government report showed.

Spending exceeded revenue by $439.5 billion from October through March, compared with a $413.3 billion deficit in the same period the prior year, Treasury Department figures released Monday showed. The shortfall in March was bigger than economists projected.

A stronger economy may help narrow the deficit after a weak first quarter. The U.S. is on pace to post a $486 billion shortfall in the full fiscal year, or 2.7 percent of the economy, compared with 2.8 percent last year, the Congressional Budget Office predicted last month.