The U.S. federal government's budget deficit widened in November compared to October, a sign that the nation is on a path to its fifth straight $1 trillion-plus deficit.
The Treasury Department says the budget gap rose to $172 billion in November, up from $120 billion in October. The November deficit was also 25 percent higher than the same month last year. Last month's deficit was pushed higher by a calendar quirk that pulled about $33 billion in benefits payments into November from December.
The government finished the 2012 budget year with a deficit of $1.1 trillion. President Barack Obama and Congress are under pressure to curb the deficit as part of a budget deal to prevent tax increases and deep spending cuts from kicking in Jan. 1.