UPDATE 1-Canadian year-to-date budget deficit narrows

Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:17pm EDT
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* August deficit widens to C$3.17 bln from yr earlier

* April-August deficit C$6.2 bln vs yr-ago C$9.03 bln

* Budget officer due to release forecasts Oct 29

OTTAWA, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Canada's federal budget deficit dropped in the first five months of the fiscal year, falling to C$6.2 billion ($6.2 billion) in April to August from C$9.03 billion in the same period of last year, the Department of Finance said on Friday.

The monthly deficit in August increased slightly to C$3.17 billion from C$3.1 billion in August 2011.

Revenues in the first five months of the fiscal year were up by 3.4 percent compared with the same period in 2011, reflecting higher income tax revenues, excise taxes and duties, the finance department said.

Program expenses rose by 1.5 percent, mainly due to higher transfer payments.

August revenues grew by 2.0 percent from August 2011 while program expenses increased by 2.6 percent.

In its 2012-13 budget the government forecast a deficit of C$21.1 billion for the current financial year.   Continued...