May 25, 2018 / 6:38 PM / in a month

2017-18 budget deficit on track to meet estimate: government

OTTAWA, May 25 (Reuters) - Canada’s budget deficit narrowed in the 2017-18 fiscal year compared to the year before, putting the government on track to meet its projections, the finance department said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A Canadian flag flies above another industry site with ArcelorMittal Dofasco in the background in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, March 9, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Power

Canada posted a deficit of C$16.19 billion ($12.48 billion) in the fiscal year that ended in March, down from a deficit of C$21.85 billion the year before.

While that was also smaller than the C$19.4 billion deficit in 2017-18 that the government predicted in its February budget, the figures do not account for year-end adjustments or planned spending on veterans’ benefits, the finance department said.

Taking those adjustments into account, the figures are “broadly in line” with the expected deficit for the fiscal year, the report said.

Revenue rose 5.4 percent compared to the previous fiscal year on increased income from personal and corporate taxes and outpacing a 3.5 percent increase in program expenses.

The budget deficit for March was C$10.63 billion, slightly wider than the C$10.39 billion reported in March 2017. While revenue was up in the month, so was spending on program expenses.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr, editing by David Ljunggren

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