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Vatican posts $19 million deficit for 2011

VATICAN CITY— The Vatican has registered one of its worst deficits in years, plunging back into the red with a €15 million ($19 million) deficit in 2011 after a brief respite of profit.

The Vatican on Thursday blamed the poor outcome on high personnel and communications costs and adverse market conditions.

Not even a €50 million gift to the pope from the Vatican bank and increased donations from dioceses and religious orders could offset the expenses and poor investment returns.

The Vatican said it ran a €14.9 million deficit in 2011 after posting a profit of €9.85 million in 2010. The 2010 profit, however, was something of an anomaly. In 2009 the Vatican ran a deficit of €4.01 million, in 2008 the deficit was €0.9 million and in 2007 it was nearly €9.1 million.

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