OTTAWA, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Canada posted a small budget surplus in the first nine months of the 2018/19 fiscal year compared to a large deficit the year earlier thanks to increased revenues, the finance ministry said on Friday.
The surplus for April-December was C$0.32 billion ($0.24 billion), compared to a deficit of C$8.93 billion in the same 2017/18 period.
Revenues climbed by 8.7 percent, mainly due to higher tax receipts, while program expenses rose by 3.9 percent.
The surplus for December was C$2.45 billion, up from the C$0.52 billion surplus recorded in December 2017. Revenues jumped by 9.8 percent while program expenses posted a more modest 1.8 percent gain.
Last November, the Liberal government unveiled a budget update that projected a C$18.1 billion deficit for 2018/19.
Reporting by Julie Gordon and David Ljunggren in Ottawa