Trudeau Government Says 2017 Deficit Is In Line With Projections

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government released interim results for the 2017 fiscal year that it says shows are “broadly” in line with its deficit projections.

The shortfall for the fiscal year ended March 31 came in at C$16.2 billion ($12.5 billion), the Canadian finance department said Friday in Ottawa. Department officials indicated the final numbers, to be released later this year, would be closer to the C$19.4 billion deficit projection forecast by the government in its February budget.

“Taking year-end adjustments into account, results to date are broadly in line” with projections, the finance department said. For one, the number doesn’t include a C$4.2 billion impact from enhanced veterans benefits, it said.

If it turns out to be in the C$19 billion range, the budget gap would be the country’s largest since 2011, and represent the peak of planned Liberal government deficits over the next few years under Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s fiscal plan. While the government doesn’t forecast a return to balance, it projects deficits to gradually decline every year before reaching C$12.3 billion in 2022, the last year of the projection horizon.

The figures released Friday show revenue grew 5.4 percent to C$305.9 billion on the year, before any final adjustments. Program spending rose 3.5 percent to C$297.8 billion. Public debt charges were little changed at C$24.3 billion.

The federal government typically releases final budget numbers in September.

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