October 27, 2017 / 3:05 PM / 21 days ago

Canada posts slightly smaller deficit in August, expenses decline

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s budget deficit narrowed slightly in August compared to the year before as both program expenses and revenue declined, the Finance Department said on Friday.

The government posted a deficit of C$2.59 billion ($2 billion) in August, modestly smaller than the C$2.69 billion budget gap in August last year.

Total revenue was down 0.6 percent as revenue from corporate income tax declined, while program expenses were down 0.2 percent as payments to the unemployed decreased.

For the fiscal year that began in April, the deficit was C$2.7 billion, well below the C$5.45 billion shortfall seen in the same timeframe last year.

The government’s finances for the fiscal year so far were helped by increased income from personal and corporate taxes, though the cost of children’s benefits were up due to a revamped benefit for families.

The government updated its fiscal and economic outlook earlier this week and now sees a deficit of C$19.9 billion in the current 2017-18 fiscal year, smaller than it had previously anticipated.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr, editing by Andrea Hopkins

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