Canada posts December budget surplus of C$1.15 bln

Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:00am EST
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* December budget surplus C$1.15 bln

* April-Dec deficit narrows to C$12.70 bln vs yr-ago C$14.35 bln

OTTAWA Feb 28 (Reuters) - Canada's federal budget registered a surplus in December 2013 of C$1.15 billion ($987 million), reflecting a strong increase in revenues from most sources, the Department of Finance said on Friday in a monthly report.

The monthly balance was the first surplus since June of last year and an improvement from the C$732 million deficit in December 2012 and the C$614 million deficit in November 2013.

In the April-December 2013 period, the budget deficit narrowed to C$12.70 billion from C$14.35 billion in the same period of 2012.

In December, the government saw revenues jump by C$1.7 billion, or 7.9 percent, with personal income tax revenues up 2.4 percent and corporate income tax up 7.1 percent. Program expenses rose by a smaller C$0.1 billion, or 0.5 percent.

In the nine-month period, revenues increased by C$7.5 billion, or 4.1 percent, while program expenses climbed C$6.2 billion, or 3.5 percent.

In the federal budget presented on Feb 11, the Conservative government estimated a budget deficit of C$16.6 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31. It saw the gap shrinking to C$2.9 billion in 2014-15 and a surplus of C$6.4 billion in 2015-16.

All the budget balances include a C$3 billion contingency fund to safeguard against unexpected shocks.