Deficit forecast raised to nine trillion

President Barack Obama’s administration will raise its 10-year budget deficit forecast to about nine trillion dollars, up about two trillion from the previous forecast, a US official said Friday.

The 2010-2019 projection, due out in a report expected next week, will supercede the previous forecast of about 7.1 trillion dollars, according to an official with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

The OMB official requested anonymity.

The figures are expected to fuel a fierce political debate over the US deficit and debt, with Obama’s Republican critics redoubling their calls for him to abandon his plans to remake US health care and fight climate change.

On Wednesday, an Obama administration official said the White House next week would pare the estimated 2009 US budget deficit to 1.58 trillion dollars, around 262 billion dollars lower than forecast.

OMB will make the announcement when it releases its delayed annual mid-year review next week, the official said, on condition of anonymity.

In May, the administration projected a 3.998 trillion dollar budget for 2009 with a deficit of 1.841 trillion dollars, reflecting swollen spending amid the worst economic crisis on record.

The lower-than-expected figure was attributed to the administration spending less money than it had projected on bank failures and aid to the financial industry.

The 2009 deficit will clock in at around 11.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and new projected budget figures will come in at around 3.65 trillion dollars.