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 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 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 billion a year earlier.
© 2017 The Canadian Press