Canada budget deficit surges to C$232 bln in first eight months of 2020/21

OTTAWA, January 29 (Reuters) - Canada’s budget deficit from April to November surged to C$232.02 billion ($182.03 billion) from C$11.75 billion a year earlier, as the government spent heavily to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the finance ministry said on Friday.

“The unprecedented shift in the government’s financial results reflects the severe deterioration in the economic situation and temporary measures implemented,” it said in a statement.

Revenues fell 17.4% on lower sales tax and corporate tax receipts, with other revenues down on premiums paid by the Bank of Canada on its secondary market purchases of government securities.

Program expenses, meanwhile, jumped 89.5%, largely on pandemic aide transfers to individuals, businesses and other levels of government, the finance ministry said.

November’s deficit jumped to C$15.40 billion compared with a shortfall of C$2.70 billion in November 2019.

($1 = 1.2746 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by David Ljunggren;