OTTAWA - Canada’s budget deficit from April to January widened to C$268.18 billion ($213.35 billion) from a deficit of C$10.56 billion in the year-ago period, on massive COVID-19 pandemic aid spending, 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 ... as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak during this period,” it said in a statement.
Year-to-date revenues dropped by 14.7% reflecting a broad-based decline including lower tax revenues. Year-to-date program expenses, meanwhile, jumped 83.9% largely due to emergency transfers to individuals, businesses and the provinces.
On a monthly basis, Canada posted a deficit of C$20.01 billion in January 2021, compared to the C$415 million surplus recorded in January 2020.
Monthly revenues were down 7.4% on a decline in other revenues, which include Crown corporation profits and returns on investments among other things. Program expenses climbed 65.5%, again on COVID-19 response measures.
($1 = 1.2570 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Julie Gordon, Reuters Ottawa Bureau, 343-961-4020; Editing by Steve Scherer firstname.lastname@example.org
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