Ottawa, December 23, 2008

Archived - Release of The Fiscal Monitor

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


October 2008: budgetary deficit of $0.6 billion

There was a budgetary deficit of $0.6 billion in October 2008, compared to a deficit of $0.5 billion in October 2007. Budgetary revenues were up $0.7 billion, or 3.7 per cent, from October 2007, as higher personal income tax and other revenues were partially offset by lower corporate income tax and goods and services tax (GST) revenues. Program expenses increased by $0.9 billion, or 5.9 per cent, compared to October 2007, reflecting higher transfer payments, offset slightly by a decrease in other program expenses. Public debt charges decreased by $0.2 billion compared to October 2007.

April to October 2008: budgetary surplus of $0.2 billion

For the first seven months of the 2008–09 fiscal year, there was a budgetary surplus of $0.2 billion, down $5.9 billion from the $6.1-billion surplus reported in the same period of 2007–08. Budgetary revenues increased by $1.2 billion, or 0.9 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 $7.8 billion, or 7.2 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 $0.6 billion on a year-over-year basis, reflecting a lower average effective interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.

For further information, media may contact:

Chisholm Pothier
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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