WASHINGTON — The federal government posted a $106.5 billion budget deficit in March after running a $203.5 billion deficit in February, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday.

The budget deficit was smaller than the median $156 billion shortage projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters and was roughly $92 billion or 46% lower than the $198 billion deficit posted for March 2012.

Outlays in March totaled $292.5 billion, compared to $326.4 billion in February, and were down about $77 billion or 21% from $369.4 billion in March 2012 (on a rounded basis).

Receipts totaled $186 billion, compared to $122.8 billion the previous month, and were up roughly $15 billion or 9% from $171.2 billion a year ago.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.