Ottawa, February 27 2009

Archived - Release of The Fiscal Monitor

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


December 2008: budgetary surplus of $0.2 billion

There was a budgetary surplus of $0.2 billion in December 2008, compared to a surplus of $1.8 billion in December 2007. Budgetary revenues were down $1.7 billion, or 8.1 per cent, from December 2007 reflecting lower corporate income tax and goods and services tax (GST) revenues. Program expenses increased by $0.3 billion, or 1.7 per cent, compared to December 2007, largely reflecting higher transfer payments. Public debt charges decreased by $0.4 billion compared to December 2007.

April to December 2008: budgetary surplus of $0.5 billion

For the first nine months of the 2008–09 fiscal year, there was a budgetary surplus of $0.5 billion, down $8.0 billion from the $8.4-billion surplus reported in the same period of 2007–08. Budgetary revenues decreased by $1.2 billion, or 0.7 per cent, primarily reflecting declines in corporate income tax and GST revenues, partially offset by growth in personal income tax and other revenues. Program expenses were up $8.0 billion, or 5.7 per cent, due to higher transfer payments and operating expenses of departments and agencies. Public debt charges were down $1.2 billion on a year-over-year basis, reflecting a lower average effective interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.

Actions to support the availability of credit are reflected in the financial requirement. There was a financial requirement of $50.2 billion in the April to December period of 2008–09, compared to a financial source of $15.6 billion in the same period of 2007–08. This year-over-year difference reflects $25 billion in initial purchases of insured mortgage pools through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation under the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, as well as the Budget 2007 announcement that the Government would meet all of the borrowing needs of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Business Development Bank of Canada and Farm Credit Canada through direct lending.

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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