Saskatoon StarPhoenix



The federal government ran a deficit of $11.5 billion over the first 11 months of its 201617 fiscal year, putting it well ahead of its spring budget forecast with one month to go. The result compared with a surplus of $7.5 billion during the April-to-February period a year earlier. Not counting a $3-billion contingenc­y cushion, the spring budget projected a deficit of $23 billion for 2016-17. Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic said the government usually runs a deficit in March as Canadians file their tax returns and receive their refunds. “It is going to take us closer and the remainder is probably something that we’ve been seeing already for a while in that a lot of the stimulus spending is taking a little bit longer to get out the door than maybe originally thought,” he said. Ottawa ran a deficit of $9.4 billion in March 2016, $3 billion in March 2015 and $6.7 billion in March 2014.

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