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updated 4/12/2010 2:28:07 PM ET 2010-04-12T18:28:07

The budget deficit for March showed a dramatic decline as the Obama administration formally entered a lower ultimate cost for the government's $700 billion financial bailout program.

The Treasury Department said the deficit for March totaled $65.4 billion, compared to a $191.6 billion imbalance a year ago. However, $115 billion of that improvement occurred because the administration lowered its estimate of the total costs for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Even with the change, the administration is still projecting that the budget deficit for the entire year will surpass last year's all-time high of $1.4 trillion.

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