Canada’s economic position continues to look positive, as revenues and the deficit move in opposite directions.
According to a new report from the Department of Finance, the budgetary deficit for the first half of the 2011–12 fiscal year was $13.2 billion, compared to $17.4 billion for same period in the previous year. Meanwhile, revenues increased $4.3 billion or 3.9 percent, to $114.4 billion over the six-month period.
The boost in revenues was attributed primarily to higher income tax revenues, including increases of $4.2 billion (7.7 percent) in personal income tax and $0.9 billion (8.4 percent) in corporate income tax. Revenues were partially offset by a $1.4 billion (9.9 percent) decrease in Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues. Program expenses were $111.8 billion, down $0.4 billion (0.4 percent), while public debt charges increased by $0.5 billion (3.3 percent).
Canada’s financial requirement for the April to September 2011 period was $30.5 billion, reflecting the $13.2 billion budgetary deficit and a requirement of $17.3 billion from non-budgetary transactions. This compares to a $38.9 billion financial requirement for the same period the previous year.
For September alone, the budgetary deficit was $2.5 billion, compared to a deficit of $3.9 billion a year earlier.
Revenues in September increased $1.2 billion (6.8 percent) to $18.5 billion, reflecting higher income tax revenues. These were partially offset by lower excise taxes and duties, Employment Insurance (EI) premium revenues and other revenues. Program expenses decreased $0.1 billion (0.6 per cent) to $18.5 billion. Public debt charges dropped $0.1 billion (5.1 percent).