(Updates with Flaherty comments starting in first paragraph.)
Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Canada’s budget deficit was a smaller-than-forecast C$33.4 billion ($32.9 billion) in the year ended March 31, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said, adding he may increase stimulus if the global recovery falters.
The figure for the last fiscal year was C$2.8 billion less than predicted in the June budget because revenue was higher than expected while spending was lower, according the finance department’s annual report posted on its website today. About half of the deficit came from stimulus programs that the government has wound down, the report said.
“We will continue to carefully monitor the economy and will remain flexible and pragmatic in responding to any material deterioration in global economic conditions,” Flaherty said in a summary of the annual report posted on the department’s website today. “We are exercising fiscal responsibility and we are urging other countries around the world to demonstrate the same discipline.”
Flaherty has said the government plans to balance the budget by the year beginning April 2014 through government spending cuts of up to C$4 billion annually and closing tax loopholes. Canada projects a deficit of C$32.3 billion this year.
--Editors: Paul Badertscher, Christopher Wellisz
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