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The Peace Tower and a Canadian flag are seen on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 27, 2011.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The federal government posted a $1.1-billion surplus in the month of December thanks to higher tax and Employment Insurance revenues and program spending that was essentially flat.

Finance Canada's monthly fiscal monitor report noted the December surplus was an improvement over the $732-million deficit that was posted in December 2012. For the first nine months of the 2013-14 fiscal year, the deficit stood at $12.7-billion, which is smaller than the $14.4-billion deficit reported during the same period one year earlier.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's February 11 budget forecasted a $16.6-billion deficit for the 2013-14 fiscal year, followed by a $2.9-billion deficit in 2014-15 and a $6.4-billion surplus in 2015-16.

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Friday's report states that government revenues were up 7.9 per cent in December, while program expenses increased by 0.5 per cent. For the April to December period, revenues were up $7.5-billion – or 4.1 per cent – while program expenses were up $6.2-billion were up $6.2-billion, or 3.5 per cent.

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