* January surplus C$2.16 bln vs yr-ago surplus of C$0.48 bln
* April-Jan deficit narrows to C$10.54 bln
OTTAWA, March 28 Canada's federal government ran
a $2.16 billion ($1.96 billion) surplus in January of this year
compared with a C$480 million surplus in January 2013, the
Department of Finance said in a monthly report on Friday.
The deficit in the first 10 months of the fiscal year from
April 2013 to January 2014 totaled C$10.54 billion, down from
C$13.87 billion in the same period a year earlier.
In the federal budget presented in February, the
Conservative government estimated a deficit of C$16.6 billion in
the current fiscal year ending March 31. That figure includes a
C$3 billion contingency fund to safeguard against unexpected
shocks. Ottawa expects to return to a surplus in 2015.
In the month of January, the surplus was the result of a 5.1
percent increase in revenues year-on-year due to increases in
most revenue streams and a 2.6 percent drop in program expenses.
In the 10-month period, revenues grew by 4.2 percent. The
biggest gain in dollar terms was from personal income tax
revenues, which grew by C$3.3 billion, or 3.2 percent. Most
other revenue streams also increased, except for corporate
income tax revenues, which fell by C$0.6 billion or 2.2 percent.
Program expenses in the same period grew 2.9 percent.
Overall benefit payments to individuals grew although employment
insurance benefits fell slightly. Transfers to other levels of
government also increased, as did direct program expenses.
($1 = $1.10 Canadian)
(Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by James Dalgleish)