OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada continued to bleed red ink in July as the result of the weak economy and fiscal measures taken to counter the recession, the Finance Department said on Friday.
The monthly budget deficit was C$5.82 billion ($5.39 billion), compared with a surplus a year earlier of C$2.18 billion and June’s deficit of C$5.00 billion.
For the first four months of the fiscal year, April-July, the cumulative deficit was C$18.34 billion -- largely on pace for the C$55.9 billion deficit projected for the whole year. In April through July 2008, the budget had a C$2.94 billion surplus.
The department said roughly C$9 billion of the C$18.34 billion was attributable to government measures to fight the recession, including tax cuts, enhanced jobless benefits and a bailout of the auto industry.
Revenues were down 15.4 percent in July from a year earlier to C$18.44 billion while program expenses jumped 30.3 percent to C$21.80 billion.
Canada had run budget surpluses for more than a decade but went into deficit late last fiscal year.
Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson