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Experts: Deficit less than expected

The federal budget deficit for fiscal year 1992 totaled about $290-billion, a record amount but far short of the $400-billion estimated in January by the Bush administration, according to budget experts.

Final spending and revenue figures for the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, will not be published by the Treasury Department until later this month. But analysts who track the daily flow of cash into and out of the Treasury, including those at the Congressional Budget Office, said the final number will be about $290-billion.

The vast bulk of the overestimation in the size of the deficit was because spending on closing failed financial institutions was far less than the administration had intended. The January budget called for spending $80-billion during fiscal 1992 on making good on its deposit insurance. The government ended up spending only about $5-billion, economist Susan M. Hering of Salomon Brothers Inc. said.

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