Ottawa reports $3.3B deficit for first eight months of 2014-15 fiscal year

OTTAWA – The Canadian government says it posted a budgetary deficit of $3.3 billion over the first eight months of the 2014-15 fiscal year — a considerable change from the $13.4 billion shortfall over the same period in 2013-14.

The Finance Department released its latest fiscal monitor Friday, a document that shows the federal books received a boost from a $6.5-billion drop in the government’s direct program spending between April and November 2014, compared to the same period the year before.

The report said the government also saw a $6.3-billion increase in revenues over the first eight months of 2014, due in large part to a $2.2-billion gain from personal income taxes and a $2-billion boost from corporate taxes.

For the month of November, the document says the government posted a $600-million surplus, which compares with the government’s deficit of $600 million in November 2013.

In its fall fiscal update, the Harper government projected a $2.9-billion deficit by the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year, which ends March 31.