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The federal government ran a $120 billion deficit in October, according to the Department of the Treasury.

The October deficit was 22 percent higher than the same month last year, but was lower than expected because of a calendar quirk that allowed some benefits to be paid in September 2011.

With October serving as the first month of the federal fiscal year, the number shows the government to be on an early pace for its fifth consecutive year of a $1 trillion annual deficit.

President Barack Obama and Congress are under pressure to come up with a plan to curb the deficit while also reaching a budget deal to prevent tax increases and deep spending cuts from kicking in January 1.