WASHINGTON -- The federal government will borrow nearly $700,000 every minute in its next budget year, the Congressional Budget Office predicts.
The agency's projection of a $362 billion deficit is 30 percent larger than this year's expected shortfall of $279 billion, which will be the biggest ever.
The debt -- deepening at nearly $1 billion a day in the agency's outlook -- will grow despite last fall's budget accord, which was supposed to cut the deficit. The widening gap is blamed on the cost of the savings and loan bailout and the recession, which damped tax collections but swelled outlays. It amounts to $1,450 for every man, woman and child in the nation.
The budget office report issued yesterday, which is only marginally more pessimistic than the latest White House budget forecast, comes as economists, business executives and the public are losing confidence in the economy's ability to recover from the recession.