The U.S. federal budget deficit hit an all-time high of 164.9 billion dollars in November, the Treasury Department reported on Wednesday.
The November deficit reflected the impact of a recession on tax receipts and the mounting costs of the 700 billion dollar financial bailout plan.
For the first two months of this budget year, which began on Oct. 1, 2008, the federal deficit totaled 401 billion dollars, well above the record red ink in a similar two-month period.
Analysts expect the federal budget deficit in 2009 to exceed 1 trillion dollars due to the economic stimulus effort and the impact of the weakening economy on government receipts.
The U.S. federal budget was in surplus for four years from 1998 to 2001.