The Conservative government posted a $2.2-billion surplus in January 2014 thanks to higher revenues and lower program costs that month.
The January figure is an improvement over the $480-million surplus the government posted in January 2013. The figures were released Friday in Finance Canada's Fiscal Monitor report, which provides monthly tracking of Ottawa's bottom line.
Over the first 10 months of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the budgetary deficit stood at $10.5-billion, compared to a deficit of $13.9-billion reported during the same period a year earlier.
During the April 2013 to January 2014 period, revenues were up $8.7-billion – or 4.2 per cent – to $216-billion, while total expenses rose by $5.4-billion – or 2.4 per cent – to $226-billion.
The monthly tracking suggests Ottawa is on track to beat its 2014 budget forecast of a $16.6-billion deficit in 2013-14. However, monthly figures should be treated with caution as large expenses can sometimes be booked at the end of the fiscal year. The official budget balance numbers for this year will not be known until the fall when the government tables the Public Accounts.
The Feb. 11, 2014, budget forecasted a $2.9-billion deficit for 2014-15 and a $6.4-billion surplus in 2015-16.