* Report says Europe crisis to blame for falling revenues
* Flaherty says Canada has lowest deficit-to-GDP ratio in G7
OTTAWA Oct 5 Canada's budget deficit for the
2011-12 fiscal year was a higher-than-forecast C$26.2 billion
($26.7 billion), in part because the European crisis cut
revenues, government officials said on Friday.
Initial figures released in May put the deficit at C$23.5
billion. The government's forecast deficit for the year was
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in a statement
that despite risks to the government's fiscal outlook, Ottawa is
committed to balancing the budget over the medium term.
An official said revenues in the first few months of 2012
were lower than expected, largely because of the European
crisis. The crisis has helped to dampen economic growth
Revenues were up by C$8.1 billion, or 3.4 percent, compared
with a forecast increase of C$10.9 billion in the government's
March 2012 budget.
Flaherty said Canada's total government net debt-to-GDP
ratio - which includes the net debt of the federal, provincial
and local governments - was 33.3 per cent in 2011. He said this
was the lowest of any member of the Group of Seven
The full government report on the figures for 2011-12 said
the key risk to the Canadian economy is the European crisis, a
view that echoes recent comments made by Flaherty.
It also said there remained significant uncertainty
regarding the direction of U.S. fiscal policy in early 2013.