Canada posts budget deficit for third straight month in October

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the premiers of the ten provinces and Indigenous Leaders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada reported a budget deficit for the third straight month in October as program expenses grew at a faster pace than revenues, the Department of Finance said on Friday.

The federal budget deficit was C$1.1 billion ($811.69 million) for the month, which was wider than a deficit of C$0.4 billion in October 2017.

Program expenses rose by C$2.1 billion, or 8.7 percent, outpacing a 5.5 percent rise in revenues.

For the April to October period of the 2018-19 fiscal year, there was a surplus of C$0.1 billion, which compares with a deficit of C$6.6 billion for the same period in 2017-18. Canada’s fiscal year ends on March 31.

Revenues rose 8.3 percent, helped by higher tax revenues, while program expenses were up 3.7 percent.

In November, the Liberal government unveiled a budget update that projected a C$18.1 billion deficit for 2018-19, which was smaller than a revised C$18.8 billion projection made in the February budget.

($1 = 1.3552 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Dan Grebler