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Federal deficit for September shrinks to $3.9B

The federal government’s budget deficit in September was $3.92 billion, a 21 percent improvement from $4.97 billion a year earlier thanks to stronger revenues, the Department of Finance said today.

Revenues were up 13.1 percent to $17.31 billion for the month, while expenses increased 3.1 percent.

In the first six months of the current fiscal year, April to September, Ottawa’s deficit receded to $17.44 billion. This compared with a shortfall of $28.64 billion in the year-ago period.

The Finance Department said roughly $9 billion of the $17.44-billion six-month deficit was due to expenses undertaken as part of the government’s two-year $48-billion stimulus plan, which is due to end next March.

For the six-month period, revenues increased by 7.6 percent to $110.11 billion while expenses excluding public debt charges dropped 3.2 percent to $112.18 billion because of smaller transfer payments to the provinces.

Following a decade of surpluses, the federal government pitched into the red in the 2009-10 fiscal year after launching the stimulus program. Ottawa estimates the 2009-10 deficit at $55.6 billion. CTV Two CTV News CTV News Channel BNN - Business News Network CP24