Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Federal spending up as Ottawa runs $1.8-billion deficit in July

The Peace Tower, shown through the gates of Parliament Hi


The federal government ran a $1.8-billion deficit in July, according to Finance Canada's monthly tracking of Ottawa's bottom line.

The department's fiscal monitor report shows that over the first four months of the fiscal year that began April 1, the deficit is $2.8-billion. During the same four months last year, Ottawa ran a $5.2-billion surplus.

Earlier this week, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that federal spending over the first quarter of the year was 5.7 per cent higher than in the first quarter of the previous year.

Story continues below advertisement

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is scheduled to meet with private sector economists on Oct. 13 to get their take on how their forecasts have changed since the March budget. That information will be compiled into a fall economic update, which will likely take place in November. Mr. Morneau has suggested the government has not yet decided whether the update will simply be a traditional refresh of federal forecasts or whether it will include new policy measures.

Mr. Morneau's March budget projected a $29.4-billion deficit in 2016-17, followed by a $29-billion deficit in 2017-18. The budget also said that annual deficits in the short term can be managed while gradually lowering the size of the federal debt as a percentage of Canada's Gross Domestic Product.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

A member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1999, Bill Curry worked for The Hill Times and the National Post prior to joining The Globe in Feb. 2005. Originally from North Bay, Ont., Bill reports on a wide range of topics on Parliament Hill, with a focus on finance. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at