OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's federal budget was in surplus in February, and the budget deficit for the first 11 months of the 2011-12 fiscal year was more than C$10 billion ($10.2 billion) less than the government has projected for the entire year.
The Department of Finance's monthly fiscal monitor showed a surplus of C$1.48 billion in February. That compares with a deficit of C$592 million in the same month last year. The January surplus was C$1.72 billion.
For the period from April 2011 to February the shortfall totaled C$14.5 billion, down from C$28.3 billion in the same period a year earlier.
In its March 29 budget, the Conservative government forecast a shortfall of C$24.9 billion for the year 2011-12, or 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, and a return to surplus in 2015-16.
Those estimates include a C$3 billion cushion for risk.
In February, expenditures fell 3.6 percent from a year earlier, a drop attributed mainly to lower operating expenses. Revenues increased 5.2 percent on an increase in corporate and personal income taxes.
Editing by Peter Galloway