WASHINGTON — The federal government ran a $124.6 billion budget deficit in May after posting a $59.1 billion surplus in April, the Treasury Department reported Tuesday.

The May deficit represents a 116% increase over the $57.6 billion gap in May 2011, and was larger than the median $122.5 billion deficit estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.

Outlays totaled $305.3 billion, $72.7 billion or 31.3% more than the $232.6 billion in May 2011.

Receipts were $180.7 billion, $5.8 billion or 3.3% higher than the $174.9 billion a year ago.

For the fiscal year to date, the government’s deficit is $844.5 billion. That’s down $82.9 billion, or 8.9%, from the $927.4 billion deficit through the same point in fiscal 2011.

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