President Barack Obama's administration acknowledged on Feb. 1 that the government budget deficit has swollen to a record $1.556 trillion in the current fiscal year ending September.
The White House had earlier forecast a budget gap of $1.502 trillion in fiscal 2010 as the administration poured resources into the economy to contain a serious financial crisis that plunged the nation into recession.
Figures released under Obama's government budget for the 2011 fiscal year, which begins October 1, show that the 2010 deficit marks a $143 billion addition to the $1.413 trillion for 2009, which was the highest since World War II.
Measured against the size of the economy, the $1.556 trillion shortfall in 2010 would equal a hefty 10.6% of the gross domestic product.
The budget the White House will send to Congress on Feb. 1 includes a three-year freeze on non-security discretionary spending, a $100 billion jobs package and extra education and homeland security spending.
Congressional estimates last week had actually showed the government's budget deficit narrowing slightly to $1.349 trillion in 2010.
The Obama administration said the 2011 budget is aimed at dealing with the aftermath of the financial, fiscal, housing and unemployment crises, and to put the United States on a path to long-term economic security.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010