The United States posted a record $220.91 billion budget deficit in February, Treasury Department data showed on Wednesday.
The February deficit was in line with analysts' consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a $222 billion budget gap but well above the $193.86 billion for the same period a year ago.
The department said the budget gap for fiscal year 2010 to date was a record $651.60 billion, well above the $589.80 billion posted for the same period in fiscal year 2009.
The government has now posted a budget deficit for 17 straight months, the Treasury Department said.
In February, outlays rose to $328.43 billion from $281.17 billion in February 2009 and was the largest on record for a February, the department said.
A Congressional Budget Office analysis said spending for several refundable tax credits, in particular, for the new Making Work Pay Credit that was enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) accounted for the largest part of that growth.
Receipts rose to $107.52 billion from $87.31 billion in February 2009, the department said. Receipts also posted their first increase year-on-year since April 2008.
The CBO analysis attributed much of the gain in receipts to a $7 billion increase in net corporate receipts.
The CBO analysis said a gain of almost $6 billion in receipts from the Federal Reserve also contributed to the increase in total receipts in February, as did lower individual income tax refunds.
(Reporting by Nancy Waitz; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)