US deficit 'set to grow still further'

11 September 2008

The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted a rise in the nation's domestic deficit today.

According to the new analysis, the budget shortfall will hit $438 billion in 2009 at a conservative estimate.

However, the CBO warned that the potential costs of the government's recent de facto nationalisation of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had not been taken into account in the figures.

The office also predicted that the deficit will stand at $407 billion for this year.

In its report, the CBO report stated: "The significant expansion in the deficit is the result of a substantial increase in spending and a halt in revenue growth."

Meanwhile, the office's director, Peter Orszag, refused to be drawn on whether or not the US is in recession.

The world's largest economy has been hit with nosediving house prices, high inflation and faltering consumer confidence.

Its banks have also taken the brunt of the global credit crunch, with 11 institutions closing so far in 2008.

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