January 27, 2017 / 4:21 PM / 8 months ago

Canada swings to deficit in November with expenses up, revenue down

A shopping cart is frozen over, after an ice storm in Toronto, December 27, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government swung to a budgetary deficit in November compared to the year before as revenue decreased and program expenses increased due to a new benefit for families, the Finance Department said on Friday.

Canada posted a shortfall of C$3.32 billion ($2.53 billion) in November, compared to a surplus of C$392 million in November 2015.

For the fiscal year that began in April, the government saw a deficit of C$12.66 billion, compared to a surplus of C$1.03 billion in the same time period the year before.

Revenue was down 7.2 percent in November from a year ago as income from both personal and corporate income tax declined.

Program expenses, on the other hand, rose 9.3 percent, driven by a jump in children’s benefits after the Liberal government began sending out checks to families last July. Benefits to the elderly also increased, though unemployment benefits decreased.

The government, which is expected to release its latest budget in the coming months, plans to run deficits over the next few years as it spends on infrastructure to bolster the economy.

The government updated its fiscal position last November, forecasting a budget deficit of C$25.1 billion in the fiscal year 2016-17.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr, editing by David Ljunggren

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