April 24, 2020 / 3:08 PM / 2 months ago

Canada records C$6.98 billion budget deficit over first 11 months of 2019/20

OTTAWA, Reuters - Canada recorded a C$6.98 billion ($4.95 billion) budget deficit for the first 11 months of the 2019/20 fiscal year as government expenditures grew faster than revenues, the finance ministry said on Friday.

By comparison, Canada posted a C$3.09 billion surplus in the period from April to February 2018/19.

Revenues grew by 2.7% as personal income tax revenues increased. Program expenses jumped 6.3%, reflecting an increase in major transfers to persons and other levels of government, as well as direct program expenses, the finance ministry said.

On a monthly basis, Canada posted a surplus of C$3.58 billion surplus in February, compared to the C$4.31 billion surplus recorded in February 2019.

Program expenses rose by 3.3%, largely on major transfers to persons, including elderly, unemployment and children’s benefits and direct program expenses. Revenues grew by 0.4% as tax revenues fell but unemployment insurance premiums and other revenues rose.

The finance ministry noted there could be “substantial volatility in monthly results due to the timing of revenue receipts and expense recognition.”

Reporting by Kelsey Johnson; Editing by Steve Scherer

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