Canada posts smaller budget deficit in first 8 months of 2018/19

A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

OTTAWA, (Reuters) - Canada posted a much smaller budget deficit in the first eight months of the 2018/19 fiscal year compared to a year earlier thanks to increased revenues, the finance ministry said on Friday.

The deficit for April-November was C$2.13 billion ($1.60 billion), down from C$9.45 billion in the same 2017/18 period. Revenues climbed by 8.6 percent, mainly due to higher tax receipts, while program expenses rose by 4.2 percent.

The deficit for November was C$2.22 billion, down from the C$2.88 billion shortfall recorded in November 2017. Revenues jumped by 10.5 percent while program expenses posted a more modest 7.9 percent gain.

Last November, the Liberal government unveiled a budget update that projected a C$18.1 billion deficit for 2018/19.

($1=$1.33 Canadian)

Reporting by David Ljunggren, Reuters Ottawa bureau