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Canada’s Budget Deficit Little Changed in September at C$2.7 Bln

Canada’s federal budget deficit was little changed in September from a year earlier as rising transfers to provinces and higher unemployment insurance payments offset spending cuts to government departments.

The deficit was C$2.69 billion ($2.71 billion) in September, from C$2.75 billion a year earlier, the finance department said today in a monthly fiscal report from Ottawa. Transfers to provincial governments were up 4.2 percent, while spending on government programs and departments fell 4.9 percent. Transfers to individuals, including payments of unemployment insurance, rose 6.5 percent.

Revenue in September was unchanged at C$18.5 billion as higher insurance premiums and income taxes offset a drop in sales tax income.

The deficit in the first six months of the fiscal year that began April 1 shrank to C$8.89 billion from C$11.8 billion in the previous period. Six-month revenue is up 2.8 percent to C$120.9 billion, with expenses rising 0.4 percent.

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