The U.S. government posted a $176.4 billion budget deficit in October, the largest October deficit and fifth largest monthly deficit on record, the Treasury Department reported yesterday.

The government has posted deficits for a record 13 consecutive months.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected a $150 billion budget deficit for October. The federral government’s 2010 fiscal year began Oct. 1.

The government had a $1.417 trillion deficit in fiscal 2009.

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