The federal government ran a $7.5-billion deficit in the first two months of the current fiscal year.

In his latest report on spending and revenue, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the figure compares with a $900-million deficit over the same period last year.

The report says revenues were down $2.6 billion in April and May, or 6.9 per cent, largely due to lower tax revenues from corporations and the reduced goods-and-services tax.

 

Program expenses were up $4.4 billion, or 13.4 per cent.

TD Bank said last month it expects Canada will be more than $172 billion in the hole over the next five years — double the government’s last budget projection of an $85-billion deficit.

And last week, Toronto-based economist Dale Orr said Ottawa will need a full decade of economic growth to eliminate the deficit, six years longer than the government projects.

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