The deficit in February was substantially lower than expected, because of a rapidly growing economy. It looks like the annual deficit will be much lower than expected. It will be much higher than it should be, but this is good news overall.
Canada ran a deficit of less than a billion dollars in February, the federal Finance Department announced Friday.
This boosts the possibility the federal deficit for the just-completed fiscal year will come in far lower than the government's prediction in last month's budget.Finance Minister Jim Flaherty projected the 2009-10 budget deficit would come in at $53.8 billion when he delivered his budget speech in the House of Commons on March 4. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
February's budget shortfall was $902 million, federal figures showed. Revenues in the month rose by $800 million as a rebounding economy led to higher corporate income tax receipts.
The February figures bring the red ink in the first 11 months of the 2009-10 fiscal year to $40.5 billion — suggesting that once the figures for March come in next month, the final deficit for the whole fiscal year will end up well short of the $53.8-billion estimate from the budget.