WASHINGTON -- The Clinton Administration's budget forecast in January will show the federal deficit declining to nearly $150 billion by fiscal 1998 from its peak of $290 billion in 1992, Office of Management and Budget Director Leon Panetta said yesterday.

"By 1998, instead of $180 billion, it will be more like a $150 billion deficit," Panetta said at a White House press briefing, contrasting the new projections with the OMB's September forecast of the 1998 deficit. Panetta did not reveal the economic and technical assumptions underlying the updated forecast.

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