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  • A situation that arises when a government spends more money than it is collecting in revenue within a given time frame. A deficit is different from a debt, which is the accumulated amount of negative funds of the government. A deficit is not necessarily a negative force to a nation's economy and can be stabili zing in times of high unemployment. On the other hand, deficits in times of high employment can lead to inflation and a decrease in private investments that can affect a nation's long-term capital formation and economic growth. The opposite of a national deficit is a budget surplus, when the amount of revenues of a government surpasses its expenditures.

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