October 24, 2008

Archived - Release of The Fiscal Monitor

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released The Fiscal Monitor for August 2008.

August 2008: budgetary deficit of $1.7 billion

There was a budgetary deficit of $1.7 billion in August 2008, compared to a deficit of $0.1 billion in August 2007. Budgetary revenues were up $0.1 billion, or 0.5 per cent, from August 2007, as higher personal income tax and other revenues were largely offset by lower corporate income tax, goods and services tax (GST) and sales and excise tax revenues. Program expenses increased by $1.5 billion, or 10.1 per cent, compared to August 2007, reflecting higher transfer payments and operating expenses of departments and agencies. Public debt charges increased by $0.2 billion compared to August 2007.

April to August 2008: budgetary surplus of $1.2 billion

For the first five months of the 2008–09 fiscal year, the budgetary surplus is estimated at $1.2 billion, down $5.5 billion from the $6.6-billion surplus reported in the same period of 2007–08. Budgetary revenues increased by $0.7 billion, or 0.7 per cent, primarily reflecting growth in personal income tax and other revenues, offset by declines in corporate income tax and GST revenues. Program expenses were up $6.4 billion, or 8.4 per cent, due to higher transfer payments and operating expenses of departments and agencies.

Monthly program spending growth has been relatively strong so far this year but will moderate over the rest of the year. This reflects the fact that program spending in the early months of 2007–08 was low, then rose in the second half of the year.

Public debt charges were down $0.3 billion on a year-over-year basis, reflecting reductions in market debt and lower interest rates.

For further information, media may contact:

Chisholm Pothier
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

David Gamble
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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