Canada budget officer sees smaller deficit than forecast

OTTAWA, April 28 Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:25am EDT

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OTTAWA, April 28 (Reuters) - Canada's budget deficit for the current fiscal year will come in lower than the government forecast in its February budget, and surpluses for the next two years will be slightly higher, Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Frechette predicted on Monday.

Frechette, whose role is to provide independent analysis to Parliament, pegged the budget deficit for the year that began on April 1 at C$500 million ($450 million), compared with the C$2.9 billion deficit the Conservative government forecast in the February budget.

He sees surpluses of C$7.8 billion for the next fiscal year, C$9.1 billion for 2016-17, C$7.5 billion for 2017-18, and C$9.1 billion for 2018-19.

The government's budget forecasts were for C$6.4 billion for 2015-16, C$8.1 billion for the following two years, and C$10.3 billion for 2018-19.

For the year that ended on March 31, he said he expected the budget deficit would come in at C$11.6 billion, lower than the C$16.6 billion the government forecast in the February budget.

($1=$1.10 Canadian) (Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson; and Peter Galloway)

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