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Ottawa posts $5.1-billion surplus in February

The federal government posted a $5.1-billion surplus in the month of February, dramatically increasing the chances that the deficit for the 2013-14 fiscal year will be smaller than expected.

Finance Canada's monthly Fiscal Monitor reported Friday that over the first 11 months of the 2013-14 fiscal year, the deficit stood at $5.4-billion with just one month left to report. That is in contrast to a deficit of $10.7-billion during the same 11 months one year earlier.

Monthly deficit and surplus figures can fluctuate dramatically due to the timing of government transactions. The official numbers for the 2013-14 fiscal year will not be known until the fall release of the Public Accounts.

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The $5.1-billion surplus for February was an improvement over the $3.2-billion surplus posted in February of 2013.

The Conservative government's Feb. 11 budget estimated the 2013-14 deficit would come in at $16.6-billion, and would then drop to $2.9-billion in 2014-15 followed by a $6.4-billion surplus in 2015-16.

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