(Bloomberg) -- The US budget deficit widened in the four months through January, as debt-servicing costs climbed further. 

The deficit for the first four months of the 2024 fiscal year reached $532 billion, or 16% more than recorded in the same period in the prior year, Treasury Department data released Monday showed. Interest costs in the four months through January were $357 billion, a 37% jump from 2023. 

The Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest-rate hiking campaign has made debt more expensive, increasing the burden for the US budget. The weighted average interest rate on outstanding US interest-bearing government debt was 3.15% at the end of January — the highest since May 2010 and marking a roughly 70 basis point increase from a year before. 

For the month of January, the deficit was smaller than a year ago — mainly due to higher receipts. The pickup in receipts in part reflected smaller payments last month for a pandemic-era program compared to 2023, Treasury officials said.

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