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NewsAlert: Ottawa says federal deficit for 2016 17 was $17.8 billion

OTTAWA- The federal Finance Department says the government ran a smaller deficit than it was expecting in the spring budget.

Ottawa ended its 2016-17 fiscal year with a deficit of $17.8 billion.

That compared with a $23-billion deficit that was forecast in the spring budget.

Government revenues were down $2.0 billion or 0.7 per cent compared with the previous year due to a drop in personal income tax revenue, employment insurance premium revenue and other revenues, offset in part by an increase in GST revenue.

Program spending rose by $16.2 billion or 6.0 per cent due to increases in major transfers to individuals, major transfers to other levels of government and other transfer payments. Public debt charges were down $1.3 billion or 5.2 per cent due to lower interest rates.

The federal debt was $631.9 billion at March 31, 2017, up from $616.0 billion a year earlier.

 

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