Canada posts budget surplus in first five months of 2018-19

A Canadian flag flies in front of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada recorded a budget surplus of C$2.56 billion ($1.95 billion) in the first five months of the 2018-19 fiscal year compared to a C$2.91 billion deficit in the same period a year earlier, the finance ministry said on Friday.

Revenues jumped by 8.0 percent in the April-August period, reflecting a greater intake from taxes and employment insurance premiums. Program expenses increased by 2.9 percent.

While the finance ministry statement did not include a line that was in the July statement, which said the results of the first four months were in line with government projections, the ministry later said the results were “broadly in line” with the fiscal forecasts.

The comment on year-to-date results is usually only made every three months, the ministry said.

In August, Canada ran a budget deficit of C$1.88 billion compared to a deficit of C$2.63 billion a year earlier.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Tom Brown