Canada budget surplus down sharply from a year ago

Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:17pm EST
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada posted a budget deficit in October of C$0.60 billion and its surplus in the first seven months of the fiscal year fell to just 3 percent of what it had been a year earlier, the Department of Finance said on Tuesday.

The surplus for April-October shrank to C$0.20 billion from C$6.11 billion in the same 2007 period as Ottawa increased spending by 7.2 percent, while budgetary revenues grew by 0.9 percent. The government has said it will record a surplus this fiscal year but slide into deficit in 2009-10.

On a monthly basis, the October shortfall compared with a C$0.52 billion deficit in October 2007 and a September 2008 deficit of C$0.36 billion. Personal income tax revenues were up by 10.5 percent, while corporate tax revenues plunged by almost 24 percent, which Ottawa attributed to normal volatility.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway)