Fiscal Monitor for April – September 2018


The federal government posted a deficit of $1.4 billion in September 2018, compared to a deficit of $3.3 million in September 2017.  Budgetary revenues were up 13.4%, reflecting strong increases in all major components.  Program expenses advanced 2.2%, as a decline in other direct program expenses dampened increases in the other major components.  Public debt charges were up a whopping 33.5% reflecting higher CPI adjustments on Real Return Bonds and a higher average effective interest rate on the stock of Treasury Bills.

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THE 2018 FALL UPDATE IRRESPONSIBLE FISCAL PLANNING

 

Paul Martin presented the first fall Economic and Fiscal Update in 1995. The purpose of that Update was to present a review of current and future economic circumstances and what these meant for the fiscal situation of the federal government. It contained no new policy initiatives. These were left for the subsequent spring budget. The Minister of Finance and departmental officials appeared before the Commons Standing Committee on Finance to present the Update and to answer questions.

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A GOVERNMENT WITH NO UNDERSTANDING OF ITS PUBLIC FINANCES

Did Ontarians realize that when they voted for Doug Ford’s Conservatives that they would end up endorsing Kathleen Wynn’s election platform? How can this be? The starting deficit for the current fiscal year in the Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review (Fall Update) was $15 billion, the forecast provided by the Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry in late August. But this estimate actually includes the Liberal’s election platform: $300 million in revenue reducing measures and $5.7 billion in program spending increases.

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Fiscal Monitor for April – August 2018


The federal government posted a deficit of $1.9 billion in August 2018, compared to a deficit of $2.6 million in August 2017.  Budgetary revenues were up 10.4%, reflecting strong increases in all major components.  Program expenses advanced 6.0%, due largely to higher other transfers and personnel expenses.  Public debt charges were up 10.9% due largely to an increase in the average effective interest rate.

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Deficit for 2017-18 Virtually Unchanged from 2016-17


Last week the Minister of Finance released the Annual Financial Report (AFR) for 2017-18 showing the deficit for last fiscal year at $19.0 billion, virtually unchanged from the restated deficit for 2016-17.

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Fiscal Monitor for April – July 2018: The Good News Continues


The federal government posted a surplus of $140 million in July 2018, compared to a deficit of  $193 million in July 2017.  The turnaround primarily reflected higher GST revenues, up 22.1%, due primarily to timing factors given the abnormally low receipts in June 2018 and an increase in other revenues, up 11.8%. These increases were offset in part by lower personal income tax revenues, down 2.6% and higher total expenses, up 2.7%.

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