September 25, 2015 / 8:39 PM / 2 years ago

Canada posts small surplus in July, for fourth month in black

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government posted a small budgetary surplus in July, marking the fourth straight month in the black, the finance department said on Friday.

July’s surplus was C$150 million ($113 million), compared with a deficit of C$1.23 billion in July a year ago. For the fiscal year that began in April, the government saw a surplus of C$5.16 billion, over a deficit of C$807 million in the same time period in 2014.

The Conservative government, which is in a tight three-way race ahead of an election in October, has vowed to balance the budget for the current fiscal year, even as critics have questioned whether they will be able to do so with the slump in oil prices.

Revenues rose by C$2.12 billion, or 9.8 percent, in July from the year before. Increases were seen in a number of areas, including personal and corporate income tax revenues, excise taxes and duties, and employment insurance premiums.

Program expenses rose by just 4.2 percent while public debt charges fell by 4.8 percent.

Recent figures showed the government ran a small surplus in the fiscal year 2014-15, a year ahead of schedule.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Randall Palmer

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