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Canada's Deficit Narrows Less Than Government Forecast

Canada’s budget deficit for last fiscal year narrowed less than the government previously forecast on weaker revenue, the Finance Department said today.

The shortfall in the 12 months through March 31 shrank to C$26.2 billion ($26.9 billion), from C$33.4 billion in the previous year, the department said in its annual financial report published on its website. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty predicted a shortfall of C$24.9 billion in his March 29 budget.

Flaherty said in August he may need to revise his deficit targets amid risks to the global recovery, saying he may be losing the cushion he built into his fiscal plan as the world’s 11th-largest economy slows.

“The global economic environment is still fragile and uncertain,” Flaherty said in today’s report, citing “downside risks” to the projections in his most recent budget. “Any setbacks in the global economic recovery can be expected to have an impact on Canada.”

Revenue in the previous fiscal year rose 3.4 percent to C$245.2 billion from a year earlier, compared with a March projection of C$248 billion, the documents show.

The government’s expenses were C$271.4 billion for the year. The government’s budget had projected expenses of C$272.9 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Mayeda in Ottawa at amayeda@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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