November 27, 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.


September 2008: budgetary deficit of $0.4 billion

There was a budgetary deficit of $0.4 billion in September 2008, compared to a surplus of $11 million in September 2007. Budgetary revenues were down $0.1 billion, or 0.6 per cent, from September 2007, as higher personal income tax revenues were offset by lower corporate income tax and goods and services tax (GST) revenues. Program expenses increased by $0.4 billion, or 2.6 per cent, compared to September 2007, reflecting higher transfer payments and operating expenses of departments and agencies. Public debt charges decreased by $0.2 billion compared to September 2007.

April to September 2008: budgetary surplus of $0.8 billion

For the first half of the 2008–09 fiscal year, the budgetary surplus is estimated at $0.8 billion, down $5.8 billion from the $6.6-billion surplus reported in the same period of 2007–08. Budgetary revenues increased by $0.6 billion, or 0.5 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 $6.8 billion, or 7.4 per cent, due to higher transfer payments and operating expenses of departments and agencies.

Program spending growth has been relatively strong so far this year but began to moderate in September. This moderation in spending growth is expected to continue in the second half of the year, reflecting the spending pattern in 2007–08, when program spending in the early months of the year was low, then rose in the second half of the year.

Public debt charges were down $0.4 billion on a year-over-year basis, reflecting a lower average effective interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.

The results to date are reflected in the fiscal outlook in the 2008 Economic and Fiscal Statement.

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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