Canada budget deficit shrinks in first 4 months of fiscal year

Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:00am EDT
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OTTAWA, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The Canadian government ran a budget deficit of C$807 million ($725.07 million) in the first four months of the 2014/15 fiscal year, down from C$4.54 billion a year earlier, the finance department said on Friday.

The budget deficit in July was C$1.23 billion, down from a shortfall of C$1.98 billion the year before. In June, Canada registered a budget surplus of C$1.57 billion.

For the first four months, revenue increased by 5.2 percent, lifted by increases in tax and employment insurance premium revenue. Program expenses rose by 0.9 percent on increases in major fund transfers to individuals or other levels of government.

The government forecast in February that the budget deficit for the 2013/14 fiscal year would be C$16.6 billion. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in New York on Wednesday that the real number would be "somewhat significantly lower" but did not give details.

($1=$1.1130 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)