Federal government runs surplus of $114 million over first two months of 2016-17

OTTAWA – The federal government ran a budgetary surplus of $114 million over the first two months of the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The Finance Department’s latest fiscal monitor says Ottawa’s surplus of $706 million in April was followed by a deficit of $592 million in May.

The document says for the two months combined, revenues fell by about $1 billion, or 2.1 per cent, largely due to smaller returns from Crown corporations, sales revenues and net foreign exchange revenues.

The government says over the same two-month period, program expenses increased by about $3.5 billion, or 8.8 per cent, mostly because of payments such as benefits for children, seniors and those on employment insurance, as well as direct program spending.

The report also says public debt charges were down about $700 million, or 13.5 per cent, over those two months, mainly due to adjustments connected to the lower inflation rate.