Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Canada’s budget deficit narrowed in December as revenue increased faster than spending, the finance department said.
The shortfall declined to C$353 million ($354 million) from C$1.35 billion a year earlier, the department said in its monthly budget report from Ottawa today. The deficit in the first nine months of the fiscal year that began April 1 shrank to C$17.7 billion from C$27.4 billion the previous year.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty hasn’t yet set a date for this year’s budget, and said yesterday that he doesn’t need an “austerity” package to meet his goal of eliminating the deficit by 2015-2016.
Revenue rose 6.8 percent to C$21.5 billion in December from a year earlier, led by personal income taxes. Program spending rose 2.7 percent to C$19.3 billion, the finance department said. Public debt charges declined to C$2.56 billion from C$2.69 billion.
--Editors: David Scanlan
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