The Fiscal Monitor
A publication of the Department of Finance

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October 2015: budgetary deficit of $0.9 billion

There was a budgetary deficit of $0.9 billion in October 2015, compared to a deficit of $3.2 billion in October 2014. Revenues increased by $2.2 billion, or 11.1 per cent, reflecting higher personal income tax and Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues. Program expenses increased by $0.1 billion, or 0.4 per cent, as an increase in major transfers to persons was largely offset by decreases in major transfers to other levels of government and direct program expenses. Public debt charges decreased by $0.1 billion, or 6.4 per cent.

April to October 2015: budgetary surplus of $0.6 billion

For the April to October 2015 period of the 2015–16 fiscal year, the Government posted a budgetary surplus of $0.6 billion, compared to a deficit of $4.0 billion reported in the same period of 2014–15. Revenues were up $13.1 billion, or 8.7 per cent, reflecting increases in all revenue streams. Program expenses were up $9.1 billion, or 6.6 per cent, reflecting increases in major transfers to persons and other levels of government and direct program expenses. Public debt charges were down $0.6 billion, or 3.6 per cent.   

October 2015

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There was a budgetary deficit of $0.9 billion in October 2015, compared to a deficit of $3.2 billion in October 2014. 

Revenues in October 2015 totalled $22.0 billion, up $2.2 billion, or 11.1 per cent, from October 2014.

  • Personal income tax revenues were up $1.6 billion, or 16.5 per cent, as 2014–15 results included a $1.6-billion downward adjustment to reflect year-to-date costs of the Family Tax Cut and the doubling of the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit.
  • Corporate income tax revenues were up $0.1 billion, or 4.4 per cent.
  • Non-resident income tax revenues were down $0.2 billion, or 37.6 per cent.
  • Excise taxes and duties were up $0.7 billion, or 19.5 per cent. GST revenues increased by $0.6 billion, energy taxes by $3 million, customs import duties by $0.1 billion, and other excise taxes and duties by $43 million.
  • Employment Insurance (EI) premium revenues were up $34 million, or 2.9 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 $15 million, or 0.7 per cent. 

Program expenses in October 2015 were $20.9 billion, up $0.1 billion, or 0.4 per cent, from October 2014.

  • Major transfers to persons, consisting of elderly, EI and children’s benefits, increased by $0.7 billion, or 11.0 per cent. Elderly benefits increased by $0.1 billion, or 3.8 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 $0.1 billion, or 6.7 per cent. Children’s benefits, which consist of the Canada Child Tax Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), increased by $0.4 billion, or 40.8 per cent, due mainly to the enhancement and expansion of the UCCB effective January 2015.
  • 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 decreased by $0.1 billion, or 1.7 per cent, as legislated growth in the Canada Health Transfer, the Canada Social Transfer, Equalization transfers and transfers to the territories was more than offset by a decrease in transfers to Canada’s cities and communities due to year-over-year timing differences and an increase in recoveries under the Quebec Abatement.
  • 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 National Defence, other departments and agencies, and expenses of Crown corporations. Direct program expenses were down $0.5 billion, or 5.2 per cent. Within direct program expenses:
    • Transfer payments decreased by $0.5 billion, or 15.2 per cent.
    • Other direct program expenses decreased by $31 million, or 0.5 per cent.

Public debt charges decreased by $0.1 billion, or 6.4 per cent, reflecting a lower average effective interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.   

April to October 2015

For the April to October 2015 period of the 2015–16 fiscal year, there was a budgetary surplus of $0.6 billion, compared to a deficit of $4.0 billion reported during the same period of 2014–15. 

Revenues increased by $13.1 billion, or 8.7 per cent, to $163.3 billion.

  • Personal income tax revenues were up $3.8 billion, or 5.1 per cent. 
  • Corporate income tax revenues were up $3.4 billion, or 18.9 per cent, largely reflecting assessments and reassessments for prior tax years.
  • Non-resident income tax revenues were up $0.3 billion, or 8.1 per cent. 
  • Excise taxes and duties were up $2.8 billion, or 10.1 per cent. GST revenues were up $2.1 billion or 11.4 per cent. Customs import duties were up $0.5 billion, and energy taxes and other excise taxes and duties were each up $0.1 billion. 
  • EI premium revenues were up $0.5 billion, or 3.6 per cent, reflecting growth in earnings.
  • Other revenues were up $2.4 billion, or 15.6 per cent, primarily reflecting the gain realized on the sale of the Government’s remaining holdings of General Motors common shares in April 2015.

For the April to October 2015 period, program expenses were $146.8 billion, up $9.1 billion, or 6.6 per cent, from the same period the previous year. 

  • Major transfers to persons were up $4.7 billion, or 10.9 per cent. Elderly benefits increased by $1.1 billion, or 4.2 per cent, reflecting growth in the elderly population and changes in consumer prices, to which benefits are fully indexed. EI benefit payments increased by $0.7 billion, or 6.7 per cent. Children’s benefits were up $2.9 billion, or 38.8 per cent, largely reflecting increased benefits related to the enhancement and expansion of the UCCB.
  • Major transfers to other levels of government were up $1.3 billion, or 3.6 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 up $3.1 billion, or 5.3 per cent. Within direct program expenses:
    • Transfer payments increased by $0.2 billion, or 1.1 per cent.
    • Other direct program expenses increased by $2.9 billion, or 7.1 per cent, reflecting in large part an increase in pension and other employee and veteran future benefit expenses.

Public debt charges decreased by $0.6 billion, or 3.6 per cent, largely reflecting a lower average effective interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.

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

Financial requirement of $15.2 billion for April to October 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 $0.6 billion and a requirement of $15.8 billion from non-budgetary transactions, there was a financial requirement of $15.2 billion for the April to October 2015 period, compared to a financial requirement of $0.5 billion for the same period the previous year. 

Net financing activities up $27.8 billion

The Government financed this financial requirement of $15.2 billion and increased cash balances by $12.6 billion by increasing unmatured debt by $27.8 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 October 2015 stood at $40.6 billion, up $8.3 billion from their level at the end of October 2014.

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

  2014 2015 2014–15 2015–16
Budgetary transactions        
  Revenues 19,792 21,993 150,266 163,329
  Expenses
    Program expenses -20,804 -20,879 -137,688 -146,761
    Public debt charges -2,195 -2,055 -16,529 -15,934
 

  Budgetary balance (deficit/surplus) -3,207 -941 -3,951 634
Non-budgetary transactions 4,715 1,031 3,458 -15,817
 

Financial source/requirement 1,508 90 -493 -15,183
Net change in financing activities 735 2,087 6,674 27,828
 

Net change in cash balances 2,243 2,177 6,181 12,645
Cash balance at end of period 32,255 40,595
Note: Positive numbers indicate a net source of funds. Negative numbers indicate a net requirement for funds.
 
Table 2
Revenues
  October   April to October  
 
 
 
  2014
($ millions)
2015
($ millions)
Change
(%)
2014–15
($ millions)
2015–16
($ millions)
Change
(%)
Tax revenues            
  Income taxes            
    Personal income tax 9,431 10,983 16.5 73,475 77,233 5.1
    Corporate income tax 2,817 2,941 4.4 17,956 21,348 18.9
    Non-resident income tax 564 352 -37.6 3,180 3,437 8.1
 

    Total income tax 12,812 14,276 11.4 94,611 102,018 7.8
  Excise taxes and duties
    Goods and Services Tax 2,191 2,763 26.1 18,323 20,403 11.4
    Energy taxes 485 488 0.6 3,205 3,334 4.0
    Customs import duties 394 464 17.8 2,723 3,190 17.2
    Other excise taxes and duties 467 510 9.2 3,515 3,640 3.6
 

    Total excise taxes and duties 3,537 4,225 19.5 27,766 30,567 10.1
 

  Total tax revenues 16,349 18,501 13.2 122,377 132,585 8.3
Employment Insurance premiums 1,180 1,214 2.9 12,523 12,977 3.6
Other revenues 2,263 2,278 0.7 15,366 17,767 15.6
 

Total revenues 19,792 21,993 11.1 150,266 163,329 8.7
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
 
Table 3
Expenses
  October   April to October  
 
 
 
  2014
($ millions)
2015
($ millions)
Change
(%)
2014–15
($ millions)
2015–16
($ millions)
Change
(%)
Major transfers to persons            
  Elderly benefits 3,676 3,817 3.8 25,177 26,235 4.2
  Employment Insurance benefits 1,181 1,260 6.7 9,965 10,636 6.7
  Children's benefits 1,061 1,494 40.8 7,533 10,457 38.8
 

  Total 5,918 6,571 11.0 42,675 47,328 10.9
Major transfers to other levels
  of government
  Support for health and other
    social programs
    Canada Health Transfer 2,676 2,834 5.9 18,733 19,847 5.9
    Canada Social Transfer 1,048 1,080 3.1 7,339 7,560 3.0
 

    Total 3,724 3,914 5.1 26,072 27,407 5.1
  Fiscal arrangements and other transfers1 1,660 1,689 1.7 12,112 12,485 3.1
  Canada's cities and communities 602 372 -38.2 1,589 1,351 -15.0
  Quebec Abatement -376 -462 22.9 -2,631 -2,770 5.3
 

  Total 5,610 5,513 -1.7 37,142 38,473 3.6
Direct program expenses
  Transfer payments
    Aboriginal Affairs and
      Northern Development
771 670 -13.1 3,604 3,775 4.7
    Agriculture and Agri-Food 43 62 44.2 345 605 75.4
    Employment and Social Development 453 418 -7.7 2,951 3,033 2.8
    Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development 240 190 -20.8 1,175 1,452 23.6
    Health 189 179 -5.3 1,782 1,773 -0.5
    Industry 261 222 -14.9 1,325 1,383 4.4
    Other1 1,004 770 -23.3 5,950 5,291 -11.1
 

    Total 2,961 2,511 -15.2 17,132 17,312 1.1
  Other direct program expenses
    Crown corporations 724 659 -9.0 4,110 4,732 15.1
    National Defence 1,790 1,953 9.1 11,544 12,728 10.3
    All other departments
      and agencies
3,801 3,672 -3.4 25,085 26,188 4.4
 

    Total other direct program expenses 6,315 6,284 -0.5 40,739 43,648 7.1
 

  Total direct program expenses 9,276 8,795 -5.2 57,871 60,960 5.3
 

Total program expenses 20,804 20,879 0.4 137,688 146,761 6.6
Public debt charges 2,195 2,055 -6.4 16,529 15,934 -3.6
 

Total expenses 22,999 22,934 -0.3 154,217 162,695 5.5

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 Comparative figures have been reclassified to conform to the presentation in the 2014-15 Consolidated Financial Statements of the Government of Canada.

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

  2014 2015 2014–15 2015–16
Budgetary balance (deficit/surplus) -3,207 -941 -3,951 634
Non-budgetary transactions
  Capital investment activities -400 -507 -1,999 -2,310
  Other investing activities 996 -748 3,898 -3,789
  Pension and other accounts 213 307 901 2,880
  Other activities    
    Accounts payable, receivables, accruals and allowances 4,139 1,079 -3,068 -9,739
    Foreign exchange activities -560 567 1,381 -5,416
    Amortization of tangible capital assets 327 333 2,345 2,557
 

    Total other activities 3,906 1,979 658 -12,598
 

  Total non-budgetary transactions 4,715 1,031 3,458 -15,817
 

Financial source/requirement 1,508 90 -493 -15,183
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
 
Table 5
Financial source/requirement and net financing activities
$ millions
  October April to October
 

  2014 2015 2014–15 2015–16
Financial source/requirement 1,508 90 -493 -15,183
Net increase (+)/decrease (-) in financing activities
  Unmatured debt transactions
    Canadian currency borrowings
      Marketable bonds 9,398 10,371 18,033 15,509
      Treasury bills -8,700 -6,800 -8,500 6,800
      Retail debt -53 -19 -218 -127
      Other 0 0 0 0
 

      Total 645 3,552 9,315 22,182
    Foreign currency borrowings -200 166 -2,211 3,103
 

    Total 445 3,718 7,104 25,285
    Cross-currency swap revaluation 198 -1,534 -189 2,301
    Unamortized discounts and premiums on market debt 107 -75 72 370
    Obligations related to capital leases and other unmatured debt -15 -22 -313 -128
 

  Net change in financing activities 735 2,087 6,674 27,828
Change in cash balance 2,243 2,177 6,181 12,645
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
 
Table 6
Condensed statement of assets and liabilities
$ millions
March 31,
2015
October 31,
2015
Change
Liabilities
   Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 123,631 111,615 -12,016
   Interest-bearing debt
      Unmatured debt
         Payable in Canadian currency
            Marketable bonds 487,881 503,390 15,509
            Treasury bills 135,692 142,492 6,800
            Retail debt 5,660 5,533 -127
 
            Subtotal 629,233 651,415 22,182
      Payable in foreign currencies 20,267 23,370 3,103
      Cross-currency swap revaluation 6,669 8,970 2,301
      Unamortized discounts and premiums on market debt 4,296 4,666 370
      Obligations related to capital leases and other unmatured debt 4,715 4,587 -128
 
      Total unmatured debt 665,180 693,008 27,828
     Pension and other liabilities  
         Public sector pensions 152,664 152,268 -396
         Other employee and veteran future benefits 76,140 79,469 3,329
         Other liabilities 6,002 5,949 -53
 
         Total pension and other liabilities 234,806 237,686 2,880
 
      Total interest-bearing debt 899,986 930,694 30,708
 
   Total liabilities 1,023,617 1,042,309 18,692
Financial assets
   Cash and accounts receivable 136,696 147,079 10,383
   Foreign exchange accounts 85,018 90,434 5,416
   Loans, investments, and advances (net of allowances)1 113,681 115,882 2,201
   Public sector pension assets 1,263 1,263 0
 
   Total financial assets 336,658 354,658 18,000
 
Net debt 686,959 687,651 692
Non-financial assets 74,629 74,382 -247
 
Federal debt (accumulated deficit) 612,330 613,269 939
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 October 31, 2015 amount includes $1.6 billion in other comprehensive losses from enterprise Crown corporations and other government business enterprises for the April to October 2015 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.

December 2015