The Fiscal Monitor
A publication of the Department of Finance

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November 2014: budgetary surplus of $0.6 billion

There was a budgetary surplus of $0.6 billion in November 2014, compared to a deficit of $0.6 billion in November 2013. Revenues increased by $1.0 billion, or 4.5 per cent, as increases in personal income tax revenues and other revenues were partially offset by a decrease in corporate income tax revenues. Program expenses decreased by $0.1 billion, or 0.4 per cent, as a decrease in direct program expenses was largely offset by increases in major transfers to persons and other levels of government. Public debt charges decreased by $0.1 billion, or 5.5 per cent.

April to November 2014: budgetary deficit of $3.3 billion

For the April to November 2014 period of the 2014–15 fiscal year, the Government posted a budgetary deficit of $3.3 billion, compared to a deficit of $13.4 billion reported in the same period of 2013–14. Revenues were up $6.3 billion, or 3.8 per cent, reflecting increases in all revenue sources, except other revenues. Program expenses were down $3.3 billion, or 2.0 per cent, reflecting a decrease in direct program expenses, offset in part by increases in major transfers to persons and other levels of government. Public debt charges were down $0.5 billion, or 2.5 per cent, largely reflecting a lower average effective interest rate on bonds.

November 2014

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There was a budgetary surplus of $0.6 billion in November 2014, compared to a deficit of $0.6 billion in November 2013. 

Revenues in November 2014 totalled $22.8 billion, up $1.0 billion, or 4.5 per cent, from November 2013.

  • Personal income tax revenues were up $1.0 billion, or 8.7 per cent.
  • Corporate income tax revenues were down $0.4 billion.
  • Non-resident income tax revenues were down $0.1 billion.
  • Excise taxes and duties were up $0.2 billion, or 3.7 per cent. Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues increased by $0.1 billion, energy taxes by $22 million, customs import duties by $5 million, and other excise taxes and duties by $34 million.
  • Employment Insurance (EI) premium revenues were up $39 million, or 3.9 per cent. 
  • Other revenues, consisting of net profits from enterprise Crown corporations, revenues of consolidated Crown corporations, revenues from sales of goods and services, returns on investments, net foreign exchange revenues and miscellaneous revenues, were up $0.2 billion, or 11.0 per cent.

Program expenses in November 2014 were $19.9 billion, down $0.1 billion, or 0.4 per cent, from November 2013. 

  • Major transfers to persons, consisting of elderly, EI and children’s benefits, increased by $0.3 billion, or 5.5 per cent. Elderly benefits increased by $0.1 billion, or 4.0 per cent, due to growth in the elderly population and changes in consumer prices, to which benefits are fully indexed. EI benefit payments increased by $0.2 billion, or 14.5 per cent. Children’s benefits, which consist of the Canada Child Tax Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit, decreased by $3 million, or 0.3 per cent.   
  • Major transfers to other levels of government consist of federal transfers in support of health and other social programs (primarily the Canada Health Transfer and the Canada Social Transfer), fiscal arrangements and other transfers (Equalization, transfers to the territories, as well as a number of smaller transfer programs), transfers to provinces on behalf of Canada’s cities and communities, and the Quebec Abatement. Major transfers to other levels of government increased by $0.3 billion, or 5.1 per cent, reflecting legislated growth in the Canada Health Transfer, the Canada Social Transfer, Equalization transfers and transfers to the territories, as well as an increase in transfers to Canada’s cities and communities.
  • Direct program expenses include transfer payments to individuals and organizations not included in major transfers to persons and other levels of government, and other direct program expenses, which consist of operating expenses of National Defence, other departments and agencies, and expenses of Crown corporations. Direct program expenses were down $0.7 billion, or 7.2 per cent. Within direct program expenses:
    • Transfer payments decreased by $0.3 billion, or 10.6 per cent.
    • Other direct program expenses decreased by $0.4 billion, or 5.6 per cent.

Public debt charges decreased by $0.1 billion, or 5.5 per cent.

April to November 2014

For the April to November 2014 period of the 2014–15 fiscal year, there was a budgetary deficit of $3.3 billion, compared to a deficit of $13.4 billion reported during the same period of 2013–14. 

Revenues increased by $6.3 billion, or 3.8 per cent, to $173.0 billion.

  • Personal income tax revenues were up $2.2 billion, or 2.7 per cent. 
  • Corporate income tax revenues were up $2.0 billion, or 11.0 per cent.
  • Non-resident income tax revenues were up $0.2 billion, or 4.6 per cent. 
  • Excise taxes and duties were up $1.5 billion, or 4.8 per cent. GST revenues increased by $0.8 billion, or 3.8 per cent, energy taxes by $0.1 billion, customs import duties by $0.2 billion, and other excise taxes and duties by $0.4 billion. 
  • EI premium revenues were up $0.5 billion, or 3.9 per cent, reflecting growth in earnings.
  • Other revenues were down $0.1 billion, or 0.5 per cent.

For the April to November 2014 period, program expenses were $157.6 billion, down $3.3 billion, or 2.0 per cent, from the same period the previous year. 

  • Major transfers to persons were up $1.5 billion, or 3.2 per cent. Elderly benefits increased by $1.1 billion, or 4.1 per cent, reflecting growth in the elderly population and changes in consumer prices, to which benefits are fully indexed. EI benefit payments increased by $0.6 billion, or 5.2 per cent, and children’s benefits were down $0.2 billion, or 2.0 per cent.  
  • Major transfers to other levels of government were up $1.8 billion, or 4.3 per cent, largely reflecting legislated growth in the Canada Health Transfer, the Canada Social Transfer, Equalization transfers and transfers to the territories.  
  • Direct program expenses were down $6.5 billion, or 9.0 per cent. Within direct program expenses:
    • Transfer payments decreased by $4.0 billion, or 16.7 per cent, largely reflecting the accrual in 2013–14 of a liability for disaster assistance related to the 2013 flood in Alberta, as well as a decrease in expenses associated with the revaluation of the Government’s liability to Ontario for the province’s one-third participation in the value of the Government’s equity holdings in General Motors.
    • Other direct program expenses decreased by $2.6 billion, or 5.2 per cent, due in large part to a decrease in pension and benefit costs based on the Government’s latest actuarial valuations.

Public debt charges decreased by $0.5 billion, or 2.5 per cent, largely reflecting a lower average effective interest rate on bonds.

 
Revenues and expenses (April to November 2014)
Revenues and expenses (April to November 2014) - For details, refer to preceding paragraphs.
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

Financial source of $0.3 billion for April to November 2014

The budgetary balance is presented on an accrual basis of accounting, recording government revenues and expenses when they are earned or incurred, regardless of when the cash is received or paid. In contrast, the financial source/requirement measures the difference between cash coming in to the Government and cash going out. This measure is affected not only by changes in the budgetary balance but also by the cash source/requirement resulting from the Government’s investing activities through its acquisition of capital assets and its loans, financial investments and advances, as well as from other activities, including payment of accounts payable and collection of accounts receivable, foreign exchange activities, and the amortization of its tangible capital assets. The difference between the budgetary balance and financial source/requirement is recorded in non-budgetary transactions.

With a budgetary deficit of $3.3 billion and a financial source of $3.7 billion from non-budgetary transactions, there was a financial source of $0.3 billion for the April to November 2014 period, compared to a financial requirement of $1.5 billion for the same period the previous year.

Net financing activities up $7.4 billion

The Government used the financial source of $0.3 billion along with an increase in unmatured debt of $7.4 billion to increase cash balances by $7.7 billion. The increase in unmatured debt was achieved primarily through the issuance of marketable bonds. 

The level of cash balances varies from month to month based on a number of factors including periodic large debt maturities, which can be quite volatile on a monthly basis. Cash balances at the end of November 2014 stood at $33.8 billion, up $3.2 billion from their level at the end of November 2013.

 
Table 1
Summary statement of transactions
$ millions
  November April to November
 

  20131 2014 2013–141 2014–15
Budgetary transactions        
  Revenues 21,801 22,772 166,727 173,038
  Expenses
    Program expenses -20,002 -19,927 -160,888 -157,615
    Public debt charges -2,353 -2,223 -19,224 -18,752
 

  Budgetary balance (deficit/surplus) -554 622 -13,385 -3,329
Non-budgetary transactions 6,385 198 11,848 3,656
 

Financial source/requirement 5,831 820 -1,537 327
Net change in financing activities -7,168 685 7,807 7,359
 

Net change in cash balances -1,337 1,505 6,270 7,686
Cash balance at end of period 30,582 33,759
Note: Positive numbers indicate a net source of funds. Negative numbers indicate a net requirement for funds.
1 Certain comparative figures have been restated to reflect a change in the Government's accounting policy for bond buyback operations as reported in the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2013–14.
 
Table 2
Revenues
  November   April to November  
 
 
 
  2013
($ millions)
2014
($ millions)
Change
(%)
2013–14
($ millions)
2014–15
($ millions)
Change
(%)
Tax revenues            
  Income taxes            
    Personal income tax 11,196 12,174 8.7 83,428 85,649 2.7
    Corporate income tax 2,692 2,329 -13.5 18,268 20,285 11.0
    Non-resident income tax 534 466 -12.7 3,486 3,646 4.6
 

    Total income tax 14,422 14,969 3.8 105,182 109,580 4.2
  Excise taxes and duties
    Goods and Services Tax 3,119 3,219 3.2 20,755 21,542 3.8
    Energy taxes 455 477 4.8 3,607 3,682 2.1
    Customs import duties 331 336 1.5 2,847 3,059 7.4
    Other excise taxes and duties 445 479 7.6 3,579 3,994 11.6
 

    Total excise taxes and duties 4,350 4,511 3.7 30,788 32,277 4.8
 

  Total tax revenues 18,772 19,480 3.8 135,970 141,857 4.3
Employment Insurance premiums 997 1,036 3.9 13,047 13,559 3.9
Other revenues 2,032 2,256 11.0 17,710 17,622 -0.5
 

Total revenues 21,801 22,772 4.5 166,727 173,038 3.8
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
 
Table 3
Expenses
  November   April to November  
 
 
 
  2013
($ millions)
2014
($ millions)
Change
(%)
2013–14
($ millions)
2014–15
($ millions)
Change
(%)
Major transfers to persons            
  Elderly benefits 3,517 3,659 4.0 27,711 28,836 4.1
  Employment Insurance benefits 1,273 1,457 14.5 10,854 11,422 5.2
  Children's benefits 1,126 1,123 -0.3 8,834 8,656 -2.0
 

  Total 5,916 6,239 5.5 47,399 48,914 3.2
Major transfers to other levels
  of government
  Support for health and other
    social programs
    Canada Health Transfer 2,544 2,676 5.2 20,365 21,409 5.1
    Canada Social Transfer 1,018 1,049 3.0 8,144 8,388 3.0
 

    Total 3,562 3,725 4.6 28,509 29,797 4.5
  Fiscal arrangements and other transfers 1,565 1,625 3.8 13,204 13,657 3.4
  Canada's cities and communities 174 260 49.4 1,661 1,849 11.3
  Quebec Abatement -309 -363 17.5 -2,822 -2,994 6.1
 

  Total 4,992 5,247 5.1 40,552 42,309 4.3
Direct program expenses
  Transfer payments
    Aboriginal Affairs and
      Northern Development
683 440 -35.6 4,016 4,044 0.7
    Agriculture and Agri-Food 211 216 2.4 684 561 -18.0
    Employment and Social Development 581 638 9.8 3,649 3,589 -1.6
    Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development 190 185 -2.6 1,621 1,360 -16.1
    Health 202 195 -3.5 1,905 1,977 3.8
    Industry 144 111 -22.9 1,569 1,436 -8.5
    Other 845 768 -9.1 10,292 6,798 -33.9
 

    Total 2,856 2,553 -10.6 23,736 19,765 -16.7
  Other direct program expenses
    Crown corporations 504 743 47.4 5,044 4,853 -3.8
    National Defence 1,716 1,660 -3.3 13,168 13,204 0.3
    All other departments
      and agencies
4,018 3,485 -13.3 30,989 28,570 -7.8
 

    Total other direct program expenses 6,238 5,888 -5.6 49,201 46,627 -5.2
 

  Total direct program expenses 9,094 8,441 -7.2 72,937 66,392 -9.0
 

Total program expenses 20,002 19,927 -0.4 160,888 157,615 -2.0
Public debt charges1 2,353 2,223 -5.5 19,224 18,752 -2.5
 

Total expenses 22,355 22,150 -0.9 180,112 176,367 -2.1

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 Comparative figures have been restated to reflect a change in the Government's accounting policy for bond buyback operations as reported in the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2013–14.

 
Table 4
The budgetary balance and financial source/requirement
$ millions
  November April to November
 

  2013 2014 2013–14 2014–15
Budgetary balance (deficit/surplus) -554 622 -13,385 -3,329
Non-budgetary transactions
  Capital investment activities 45 -259 -2,516 -2,258
  Other investing activities 6,863 -709 21,147 3,189
  Pension and other accounts 589 240 3,336 1,141
  Other activities    
    Accounts payable, receivables, accruals and allowances 957 1,924 -6,660 -1,144
    Foreign exchange activities -1,914 -1,243 -5,725 138
    Amortization of tangible capital assets -155 245 2,266 2,590
 

    Total other activities -1,112 926 -10,119 1,584
 

  Total non-budgetary transactions 6,385 198 11,848 3,656
 

Financial source/requirement 5,831 820 -1,537 327
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
 
Table 5
Financial source/requirement and net financing activities
$ millions
  November April to November
 

  2013 2014 2013–14 2014–15
Financial source/requirement 5,831 820 -1,537 327
Net increase (+)/decrease (-) in financing activities
  Unmatured debt transactions
    Canadian currency borrowings
      Marketable bonds -3,301 -2,258 9,660 15,775
      Treasury bills -4,200 2,600 -4,500 -5,900
      Retail debt -1,099 -570 -1,343 -788
      Other 0 0 0 0
 

      Total -8,600 -228 3,817 9,087
    Foreign currency borrowings 401 146 872 -2,065
 

    Total -8,199 -82 4,689 7,022
    Cross-currency swap revaluation 915 658 3,299 469
    Unamortized discounts and premiums on market debt1 108 123 -196 195
    Obligations related to capital leases and other unmatured debt 8 -14 15 -327
 

  Net change in financing activities -7,168 685 7,807 7,359
Change in cash balance -1,337 1,505 6,270 7,686
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 Comparative figures have been restated to reflect a change in the Government's accounting policy for bond buyback operations as reported in the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2013–14.
 
Table 6
Condensed statement of assets and liabilities
$ millions
March 31,
2014
November 30,
2014
Change
Liabilities
   Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 111,421 112,961 1,540
   Interest-bearing debt
      Unmatured debt
         Payable in Canadian currency
            Marketable bonds 473,319 489,094 15,775
            Treasury bills 152,990 147,090 -5,900
            Retail debt 6,327 5,539 -788
 
            Subtotal 632,636 641,723 9,087
      Payable in foreign currencies 16,030 13,965 -2,065
      Cross-currency swap revaluation 2,326 2,795 469
      Unamortized discounts and premiums on market debt 3,184 3,379 195
      Obligations related to capital leases and other unmatured debt 4,782 4,455 -327
 
      Total unmatured debt 658,958 666,317 7,359
     Pension and other liabilities  
         Public sector pensions 153,083 152,745 -338
         Other employee and veteran future benefits 71,409 72,985 1,576
         Other liabilities 5,914 5,817 -97
 
         Total pension and other liabilities 230,406 231,547 1,141
 
      Total interest-bearing debt 889,364 897,864 8,500
 
   Total liabilities 1,000,785 1,010,825 10,040
Financial assets
   Cash and accounts receivable 128,574 138,944 10,370
   Foreign exchange accounts 72,262 72,124 -138
   Loans, investments, and advances (net of allowances)1 117,635 113,233 -4,402
 
   Total financial assets 318,471 324,301 5,830
 
Net debt 682,314 686,524 4,210
Non-financial assets 70,433 70,101 -332
 
Federal debt (accumulated deficit) 611,881 616,423 4,542
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 November 30, 2014 amount includes $1.2 billion in other comprehensive losses from enterprise Crown corporations and other government business enterprises for the April to November 2014 period.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, changes in financial results are presented on a year-over-year basis.

For inquiries about this publication, contact Glenn Purves at 613-369-5655.

January 2015