OTTAWA—The federal government’s deficit for the first eight months of the current fiscal year was smaller than a year earlier as revenue growth outpaced increases in spending.
According to the latest fiscal monitor, Ottawa rang up a deficit of $9.1 billion for the period from April to November, compared with a shortfall of $12.7 billion in the same months of the previous fiscal year.
The monthly report says revenues were up $8.8 billion, or 4.8 per cent, as an increase in tax revenues was partially offset by a decrease in employment insurance premium revenues.
Program spending increased up $5.8 billion, or 3.2 per cent, reflecting increases in major transfers to persons and other levels of government and direct program expenses.
Public debt charges were down $500 million, or 3.0 per cent, largely due to a lower average effective interest rate.
The government’s fall economic update projected a spending shortfall of $18.4 billion for the financial year ending March 31, down from the $25.5 billion federal deficit projection in the March budget.