OTTAWA, (Reuters) - Canada swung to a budgetary deficit in July compared to a modest surplus the year before as revenues decreased and as the government began mailing out new child benefit checks, the finance department said on Friday.
The government recorded a C$1.76 billion ($1.34 billion) deficit in July, compared to a surplus of C$150 million in July 2015.
For the fiscal year so far that started in April, the government also slipped into a deficit of C$2.76 billion from a surplus of C$5.16 billion in the same time period last year.
Revenues were down 3.1 percent in July as income from corporate taxes tumbled 24.5 percent. Excise taxes and duties were also down during the month.
At the same time, program expenses rose, including a 18.4 percent increase in children's benefits as a new bonus for families came into effect, replacing an old benefit that had been in place under the previous government.
Increases in benefits to the elderly and the unemployed also helped drive program expenses higher.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr, editing by David Ljunggren