The federal government registered a budget deficit of $161 billion for the just-completed fiscal year, the Congressional Budget office estimated Friday.

The 2007 deficit figure represents considerable improvement over the $248 billion deficit posted last year. It’s even smaller when compared to the size of the economy — the measure deemed most important by economists.

At 1.2 percent of gross domestic product, the fiscal picture is the best it’s been since 2001, the last year the government ran a budget surplus.

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