July 26, 2019 / 3:05 PM / a year ago

Canada posts 2019-2020 budget deficit of C$1.41 billion vs. surplus a year ago, preliminary data show

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

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada posted a budget deficit of C$1.41 billion ($1.06 billion) in the first two months of the 2019-2020 fiscal year, preliminary data from the federal finance ministry showed on Friday, following a C$3.18 billion surplus posted a year earlier.

Canada, the department of finance said in its monthly Fiscal Monitor, posted a deficit of C$2.12 billion in the month of April and a narrow surplus in May of C$0.71 billion.

Revenues in the first two months combined were up C$2.3 billion, or 4.2%, largely reflecting increases in tax and other revenues, the data showed.

Meanwhile, program expenses for the same period were up C$6.3 billion, or 13.5%, thanks in large part to increases in transfers to other levels of government and direct program expenses.

The financial results presented in the Fiscal Monitor, the department said, have not been audited or reviewed by an external auditor, adding there “can be substantial volatility in monthly results due to the timing of revenue reciepts and expense recognition”.

Reporting by Kelsey Johnson, Reuters Ottawa bureau, 613 235 6745; kelsey.johnson@tr.com

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