Trudeau government on track to meet its $28.5 billion deficit prediction, report says

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OTTAWA — Three months into the fiscal year, the public books are on track to meet the Trudeau government’s deficit projection of $28.5 billion, an update on federal finances said Friday.

The government posted a thin budgetary surplus of $83 million between April and June, the Finance Department’s monthly fiscal monitor found.

That means the balance-sheet ink is set to start turning red over the coming months.

The document noted that while the first quarter numbers provided limited detail for the whole fiscal year, it insisted they’re consistent with the deficit prediction in Ottawa’s March budget.

Government revenues were up $3.5 billion or 4.9 per cent, compared with the same three-month period last year. The increase includes a $4-billion or seven per cent increase in total tax revenues.

The higher revenues were partly offset by an increase in total expenses of 3.3 per cent or $2.4 billion. That included a 9.1 per cent increase in transfers to individuals, such as child- and elderly-benefit payments.

Over the same period, public debt charges fell 4.2 per cent or $265 million.

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