WASHINGTON — The federal government posted a $129.4 billion budget deficit for July, down 22% from the $165 billion deficit of July 2010.

Most of that difference, however, was due to a calendar shift that pushed about $28 billion of monthly outlays into July 2010 because Aug. 1 fell on a weekend. Those include Social Security, military pay ,and veterans’ benefits.

If those payments are excluded, then the 2011 July deficit is $8 billion less than July 2010, or 6% lower.

In June, the government ran a $43.1 billion deficit.

Revenues for July were $159 billion, up $4 billion or 2% from the previous year. Outlays fell $32 billion or 10%.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had a median deficit estimate of $136.2 billion. The Congressional Budget Office predicted a $132 billion deficit in its Aug. 5 monthly report.

The federal deficit was $1.100 billion for the first 10 months of fiscal 2011, down $69 billion or 6% from the July 2010 year-to-date deficit.

After adjusting for the calendar shift, this July’s outlays would be just $4 billion or 1% higher than last year.

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