The U.S. budget deficit grew by $231.68 million last month, more than at any time since August 2010, but the government's overall deficit in fiscal 2012 is improving.

The government spent $335.1 billion and collected $103.4 billion in February, which was sharply lower than receipts in February of fiscal 2011, the Treasury Department said Monday.

Through the first five months of the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the federal government has run a deficit of $580.8 billion, about $60 billion less than it did during the first same period of fiscal 2011.

However, the latest figures also show the United States on course to have an annual budget deficit of more than $1 trillion for the fourth straight year.

President Barack Obama's administration has forecast a deficit of $1.33 trillion for this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. That compares with $1.29 trillion in the previous 12-month period and a $1.41 trillion deficit in fiscal 2010.

The latest budget deficit figures come days after the government reported that its trade deficit swelled in January to the largest amount in more than three years.

Markets appeared unaffected by Monday's budget deficit news, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 modestly up and the Nasdaq Composite down slightly in afternoon trading.