Federal government runs $11-billion deficit for April-to-December period

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The federal government ran a deficit of $11.0 billion over the first nine months of its 2019-20 fiscal year.

The result compared with a surplus of $324 million for the same period of its 2018_19 fiscal year.

In its monthly fiscal monitor, the Finance Department says revenue for the April-to-December period totalled $246.0 billion, up from $239.3 billion a year ago, boosted in large part to an increase in personal income tax revenue.

Program expenses for the nine-month period totalled $238.6 billion, compared with $221.1 billion from the same period a year earlier.

The increase in spending came as major transfers to persons rose $3.1 billion compared with a year earlier and major transfers to other levels of government increased $4.9 billion.

Public debt charges increased to $18.4 billion compared with $17.9 billion a year earlier, due to higher consumer price index adjustments on real return bonds and a higher average effective interest rate on the stock of Government of Canada treasury bills.