Feds in surplus for fiscal year to date

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OTTAWA – The federal government posted a surplus of $1.3 billion for the first 10 months of the 2014-15 fiscal year as revenues rose and spending dropped.

That compared with a $10-billion deficit it posted over the same period in 2013-14.

Ottawa’s latest monthly fiscal monitor says increases in most revenue streams over the first 10 months of 2014-15 pushed total government income up by $7.7 billion or 3.6 per cent.

Over the same time span, it says total program expenses fell $2.8 billion or 1.4 per cent.

The Finance Department also says Ottawa registered a surplus of $2.21 billion for January compared with a surplus of nearly $2.22 billion in January 2014.

In his November fiscal update, Finance Minister Joe Oliver projected a $2.9-billion shortfall by the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year, which ends March 31.

Oliver has repeatedly pledged to table a balanced budget for his 2015-16 spending plan, which is expected next month.