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Federal deficit to come in near $19.4 billion

Federal deficit to come in near $19.4 billion

Federal deficit on track to come in near $19.4-billion for 2017-18: report

Source: The Globe and Mail
Author: Bill Curry

Ottawa recorded a $10.6-billion deficit in March and now expects the final deficit figure for 2017-18 will be in line with the $19.4-billion estimated in the February budget.

The Finance Department released its monthly Fiscal Monitor report Friday, which tracks federal spending and revenue. The latest report covers the full 12 months of the 2017-18 fiscal year which ended March 31, but further adjustments will be made to the figures before they are finalized in the fall public accounts.

The deficit reported for March was almost identical to the one recorded for the same month a a year earlier.

 For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the government recorded a deficit of $16.2-billion in Friday’s report, however it noted that that the final figure is expected to rise after a $4.2-billion budget pledge to enhance veterans’ benefits is included.

“Taking year-end adjustments into account, results to date are broadly in line with a $19.4-billion deficit projected in budget 2018,” the report states.

 Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s February budget projected five more years of deficits, declining in size from $18.1-billion in 2018-19 to $12.3-billion in 2022-23. Mr. Morneau has not announced a firm date for erasing the deficit, even though Conservative MPs have repeatedly asked him to set a timeline.

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