March 29, 2018 / 3:05 PM / 25 days ago

Canada budget surplus shrinks in January as expenses increase

OTTAWA, (Reuters) - Canada’s budget surplus in January shrank compared with the previous year as program expenses grew and government revenues stayed flat, the finance department said on Thursday.

A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The government posted a surplus of C$0.17 billion ($0.13 billion) in January compared to a surplus of C$1.24 billion in January 2017.

Program expenses rose by 2.9 percent on payments to the elderly and children as well as higher defense outlays.

For the first 10 months of the fiscal year that began in April 2017, the total deficit was C$8.38 billion, down from the C$12.75 billion shortfall seen in the period from April 2016 to January 2017.

The government said in its February budget that it expects a deficit of C$19.4 billion in the current 2017-2018 fiscal year.

$1=$1.29 Canadian

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