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Budget gap narrows in September

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Higher income tax revenues helped Canada shrink its budgetary deficit in September for a April-September shortfall of $13.23 billion from $17.44 billion in the same period last year, the government said on Friday.

In September, the deficit was $2.50 billion, down from $3.92 billion in September 2010.

Higher income tax collection helped boost federal government revenues by 6.8 percent, or $1.2 billion, in the month, partly as a result of a one-time downward adjustment to September 2010 figures. Those gains offset lower intake from other sources.

Expenses edged down 0.6 percent in September.

The Conservative government earlier this month conceded that it would not be able to eradicate the budget deficit by 2014-15 as it had promised, and pushed back the date for balancing the books by one year.

Ottawa now pegs the 2011-12 deficit at $31 billion, or 1.8 percent of gross domestic product. By 2015-16 the budget will show a modest surplus of around $600 million, the government said.

CTV.ca CTV Two CTV News CTV News Channel BNN - Business News Network CP24