The Fiscal Monitor
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April and May 2015: budgetary surplus of $3.9 billion

For the first two months of the 2015–16 fiscal year (April and May), there was a budgetary surplus of $3.9 billion, compared to a deficit of $1.1 billion reported in the same period last year. By month, there was a surplus of $2.5 billion in April and a surplus of $1.4 billion in May.

For the two months combined, revenues increased by $5.5 billion, or 12.8 per cent, largely reflecting increases in income tax revenues, excise taxes and duties, and the gain realized on the sale of the Government’s remaining holdings of General Motors common shares in April 2015. Program expenses were up $0.6 billion, or 1.5 per cent, reflecting increases in major transfers to persons and other levels of government, offset in part by a decrease in direct program expenses. Public debt charges decreased by $0.1 billion, or 2.3 per cent.

April and May 2015 budgetary results

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There was a budgetary surplus of $3.9 billion in the April to May 2015 period, compared to a $1.1 billion deficit for the same period in the previous year.

Revenues increased by $5.5 billion, or 12.8 per cent, to $49.1 billion.

  • Personal income tax revenues were up $1.9 billion, or 9.2 per cent, reflecting, in part, timing issues which raised the May 2015 results.
  • Corporate income tax revenues were up $0.5 billion, or 9.0 per cent.
  • Non-resident income tax revenues were down $0.1 billion, or 7.6 per cent.
  • Excise taxes and duties were up $0.6 billion, or 8.3 per cent.  Within this component, Goods and Services Tax revenues were up $0.6 billion, or 11.3 per cent.  Energy taxes were up $0.1 billion, customs import duties were up $46 million and other excise taxes and duties were down $0.1 billion. 
  • Employment Insurance (EI) premium revenues were up $0.2 billion, or 3.7 per cent, reflecting growth in earnings.  
  • 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 $2.4 billion, or 58.2 per cent, primarily reflecting the gain realized on the sale of the Government’s remaining holdings of General Motors common shares in April 2015. 

Total program expenses in the April to May 2015 period were $40.0 billion, up $0.6 billion, or 1.5 per cent, from the prior year. This increase mainly reflects higher transfer payments to persons and other levels of government, offset in part by a decrease in direct program expenses.      

  • Major transfers to persons, consisting of elderly benefits, EI benefits and children’s benefits, increased by $0.7 billion, or 5.7 per cent. Elderly benefits increased by $0.4 billion, or 4.9 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 $0.3 billion, or 10.2 per cent.  Children’s benefits, which consist of the Canada Child Tax Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit, increased by $31 million, or 1.4 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 $0.5 billion in the April to May period, or 4.8 per cent, from the prior year, primarily reflecting legislated growth in the Canada Health Transfer, the Canada Social Transfer and the Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing transfers.
  • Direct program expenses include transfer payments to individuals and other organizations not included in major transfers to persons and other levels of government, and other direct program expenses, which consist of operating expenses of departments and agencies, and expenses of Crown corporations. Direct program expenses in the April to May period were down $0.6 billion, or 3.9 per cent, from the prior year.
    • Transfer payments decreased by $0.1 billion, or 2.7 per cent.
    • Other direct program expenses decreased by $0.5 billion, or 4.4 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 $0.1 billion, or 2.3 per cent, largely reflecting a lower average effective interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.

Revenues and expenses (April 2015 to May 2015)
Revenues and expenses (April 2015 to May 2015) - For details, refer to preceding paragraphs.
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

Financial requirement of $1.4 billion for April and May 2015

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 surplus of $3.9 billion and a requirement of $5.4 billion from non-budgetary transactions, there was a financial requirement of $1.4 billion for the April to May 2015 period, compared to a financial requirement of $3.6 billion from the same period the previous year. 

Net financing activities up $13.5 billion

The government financed this financial requirement of $1.4 billion and increased cash balances by $12.1 billion by increasing unmatured debt by $13.5 billion. The increase in unmatured debt was achieved primarily through the issuance of marketable bonds and treasury bills. 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 May 2015 stood at $40.1 billion, up $0.1 billion from their level at the end of May 2014.

 
Table 1
Summary statement of transactions
($ millions)
April May April - May



2014 2015 2014 2015 2014–15 2015–16
Budgetary transactions            
  Revenues 21,586 25,370 21,916 23,681 43,502 49,051
  Expenses
    Program expenses -20,364 -20,298 -19,086 -19,729 -39,450 -40,027
    Public debt charges -2,636 -2,528 -2,563 -2,550 -5,199 -5,078
 


  Budgetary balance (deficit/surplus) -1,414 2,544 267 1,402 -1,147 3,946
Non-budgetary transactions -434 -585 -2,004 -4,798 -2,438 -5,383
 


Financial source/requirement -1,848 1,959 -1,737 -3,396 -3,585 -1,437
Net change in financing activities 11,510 6,510 5,926 7,027 17,436 13,537
 


Net change in cash balances 9,662 8,469 4,189 3,631 13,851 12,100
Cash balance at end of period 39,923 40,052
Notes: Positive numbers indicate net source of funds. Negative numbers indicate net requirement for funds.
 
Table 2
Revenues
April May April - May  



 
2014 2015 2014 2015 2014–15 2015–16 Change
($ millions) (%)
Tax revenues              
  Income taxes              
    Personal income tax 10,462 11,111 10,013 11,243 20,475 22,354 9.2
    Corporate income tax 2,826 3,417 2,886 2,811 5,712 6,228 9.0
    Non-resident income tax 451 336 422 471 873 807 -7.6
 


    Total income tax 13,739 14,864 13,321 14,525 27,060 29,389 8.6
  Excise taxes and duties
    Goods and Services Tax 2,305 2,413 2,781 3,249 5,086 5,662 11.3
    Energy taxes 416 517 443 424 859 941 9.5
    Customs import duties 364 390 353 373 717 763 6.4
    Other excise taxes and duties 419 408 571 511 990 919 -7.2
 


    Total excise taxes and duties 3,504 3,728 4,148 4,557 7,652 8,285 8.3
 


  Total tax revenues 17,243 18,592 17,469 19,082 34,712 37,674 8.5
Employment Insurance premiums 2,377 2,479 2,257 2,325 4,634 4,804 3.7
Other revenues 1,966 4,299 2,190 2,274 4,156 6,573 58.2
 


Total revenues 21,586 25,370 21,916 23,681 43,502 49,051 12.8
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
 
Table 3
Expenses
April May April - May



 
2014 2015 2014 2015 2014–15 2015–16 Change
($ millions) (%)
Major transfers to persons              
  Elderly benefits 3,553 3,723 3,573 3,755 7,126 7,478 4.9
  Employment Insurance benefits 1,893 1,726 1,271 1,760 3,164 3,486 10.2
  Children’s benefits 1,100 1,075 1,059 1,115 2,159 2,190 1.4
 


  Total 6,546 6,524 5,903 6,630 12,449 13,154 5.7
Major transfers to other levels of government
  Support for health and other social programs
    Canada Health Transfer 2,676 2,836 2,676 2,835 5,352 5,671 6.0
    Canada Social Transfer 1,048 1,080 1,049 1,080 2,097 2,160 3.0
 


    Total 3,724 3,916 3,725 3,915 7,449 7,831 5.1
  Fiscal arrangements and other transfers 1,945 2,016 1,944 2,015 3,889 4,031 3.7
  Canada’s cities and communities 0 0 0 0 0 0 n/a
  Quebec Abatement -376 -384 -376 -385 -752 -769 2.3
 


  Total 5,293 5,548 5,293 5,545 10,586 11,093 4.8
Direct program expenses
  Transfer payments
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development 960 958 332 304 1,292 1,262 -2.3
    Agriculture and Agri-Food 16 25 26 37 42 62 47.6
    Employment and Social Development 340 328 334 313 674 641 -4.9
    Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development 61 213 305 146 366 359 -1.9
    Health 414 437 260 223 674 660 -2.1
    Industry 220 221 132 71 352 292 -17.0
    Other 785 745 682 714 1,467 1,459 -0.5
 


    Total 2,796 2,927 2,071 1,808 4,867 4,735 -2.7
 


  Other direct program expenses              
    Crown corporations 702 746 485 622 1,187 1,368 15.2
    National Defence 1,493 1,354 1,580 1,633 3,073 2,987 -2.8
    All other departments and agencies 3,534 3,199 3,754 3,491 7,288 6,690 -8.2
 


    Total other direct program expenses 5,729 5,299 5,819 5,746 11,548 11,045 -4.4
 


  Total direct program expenses 8,525 8,226 7,890 7,554 16,415 15,780 -3.9
 


Total program expenses 20,364 20,298 19,086 19,729 39,450 40,027 1.5
Public debt charges 2,636 2,528 2,563 2,550 5,199 5,078 -2.3
 


Total expenses 23,000 22,826 21,649 22,279 44,649 45,105 1.0
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
 
Table 4
The budgetary balance and financial source/requirement
($ millions)
April May April - May



2014 2015 2014 2015 2014–15 2015–16
Budgetary balance (deficit/surplus) -1,414 2,544 267 1,402 -1,147 3,946
Non-budgetary transactions
  Capital investment activities -83 -108 -120 -54 -203 -162
  Other investing activities 1,443 504 1,079 -630 2,522 -126
  Pension and other accounts 169 294 189 111 358 405
  Other activities    
    Accounts payable, receivables, accruals and allowances -2,231 -5,491 -3,847 -2,583 -6,078 -8,074
    Foreign exchange activities -139 3,828 357 -2,022 218 1,806
    Amortization of tangible capital assets 407 388 338 380 745 768
 


    Total other activities -1,963 -1,275 -3,152 -4,225 -5,115 -5,500
 


  Total non-budgetary transactions -434 -585 -2,004 -4,798 -2,438 -5,383
 


Financial source/requirement -1,848 1,959 -1,737 -3,396 -3,585 -1,437
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
 
Table 5
Financial source/requirement and net financing activities
($ millions)
April May April - May



2014 2015 2014 2015 2014–15 2015–16
Financial source/requirement -1,848 1,959 -1,737 -3,396 -3,585 -1,437
Net increase (+)/decrease (-) in financing activities
  Unmatured debt transactions
    Canadian currency borrowings
      Marketable bonds 5,096 8,118 3,794 -1,417 8,890 6,701
      Treasury bills 6,900 1,400 3,000 6,600 9,900 8,000
      Retail debt -60 -40 -6 3 -66 -37
      Other 0 0 0 0 0 0
 


      Total 11,936 9,478 6,788 5,186 18,724 14,664
    Foreign currency borrowings -93 -802 66 268 -27 -534
 


    Total 11,843 8,676 6,854 5,454 18,697 14,130
    Cross-currency swap revaluation -350 -2,287 -866 1,530 -1,216 -757
    Unamortized discounts and premiums on market debt 51 158 -47 59 4 217
    Obligations related to capital leases and other unmatured debt -34 -37 -15 -16 -49 -53
 


  Net change in financing activities 11,510 6,510 5,926 7,027 17,436 13,537
Change in cash balance 9,662 8,469 4,189 3,631 13,851 12,100
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

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.

July 2015