The Fiscal Monitor – March 2008

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The following News Release or Speech was posted on the Finance Canada Site

Ottawa, May 23, 2008
2008-039

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released The Fiscal Monitor for March 2008.
Highlights

March 2008: budgetary deficit of $1.2 billion

There was a budgetary deficit of $1.2 billion in March 2008, compared to a deficit of $2.4 billion in March 2007. Budgetary revenues were up $1.0 billion, or 5.2 per cent, largely reflecting gains in personal income tax revenues. Program expenses were relatively stable, as an increase in transfer payments was offset by a decrease in operating expenses of departments and agencies. Public debt charges decreased by $0.1 billion.

April 2007 to March 2008: budgetary surplus of $10.2 billion after cost of measures

For the April 2007 to March 2008 period, the budgetary surplus is estimated at $11.7 billion, down $1.2 billion from the $12.9-billion surplus reported in the same period of 2006–07. Budgetary revenues increased by $10.6 billion, or 4.6 per cent, driven by gains in income tax revenues and other revenues. Program expenses were up $12.5 billion, or 6.8 per cent, due to higher transfer payments and operating expenses of departments and agencies. Public debt charges were down $0.6 billion, reflecting reductions in market debt.

The April 2007 to March 2008 monthly results are not the final results for the year as a whole. They do not reflect $1.5 billion in 2007–08 measures announced earlier this year, including the Public Transit Capital Trust 2008 and the Police Officers Recruitment Fund. The cost of these measures will be reflected in the end-of-year supplementary period. Deducting the cost of these measures from the $11.7-billion year-to-date surplus would yield a surplus of $10.2 billion. In addition, the year-to-date results do not reflect the regular end-of-year adjustments, which include final tax accrual adjustments as well as estimates of the cost of liabilities incurred during the fiscal year but for which no payment has yet been made.

A discussion of the March results and the budget forecast for 2007–08 is provided in The Fiscal Monitor.

The Fiscal Monitor is a monthly document that provides highlights of the federal government’s fiscal performance, including monthly revenues, expenses, the budgetary balance and the financial source/requirement.

___________________________________
For further information, media may contact:

Chisholm Pothier
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861

David Gamble
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

SOURCE: Dept of Finance Newsroom

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