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Canada budget deficit swells to C$268 billion over first 10 months of 2020/21 - Metro US

Canada budget deficit swells to C$268 billion over first 10 months of 2020/21

FILE PHOTO: A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto

OTTAWA – Canada’s budget deficit from April to January widened to C$268.18 billion ($213.35 billion) from a deficit of C$10.56 billion in the year-ago period, on massive COVID-19 pandemic aid spending, the finance ministry said on Friday.

“The unprecedented shift in the government’s financial results reflects the severe deterioration in the economic situation and temporary measures implemented … as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak during this period,” it said in a statement.

Year-to-date revenues dropped by 14.7% reflecting a broad-based decline including lower tax revenues. Year-to-date program expenses, meanwhile, jumped 83.9% largely due to emergency transfers to individuals, businesses and the provinces.

On a monthly basis, Canada posted a deficit of C$20.01 billion in January 2021, compared to the C$415 million surplus recorded in January 2020.

Monthly revenues were down 7.4% on a decline in other revenues, which include Crown corporation profits and returns on investments among other things. Program expenses climbed 65.5%, again on COVID-19 response measures.

($1 = 1.2570 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Julie Gordon, Reuters Ottawa Bureau, 343-961-4020; Editing by Steve Scherer julie.gordon@tr.com)

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