Budget watchdog says federal deficit this year to be $16.1 billion 

click to enlarge THE CANADIAN PRESS/ADRIAN WYLD - Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks with the media in the Foyer of the House of Commons Thursday January 31, 2019 in Ottawa. The parliamentary budget watchdog is projecting the federal deficit this fiscal year to come in $2.1 billion lower than what the Liberals predict. A report out this morning from the parliamentary budget office predicts that this year's budget deficit will come in at $16 billion, less than the $18.1 billion the Liberals predict.
  • THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
  • Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks with the media in the Foyer of the House of Commons Thursday January 31, 2019 in Ottawa. The parliamentary budget watchdog is projecting the federal deficit this fiscal year to come in $2.1 billion lower than what the Liberals predict. A report out this morning from the parliamentary budget office predicts that this year's budget deficit will come in at $16 billion, less than the $18.1 billion the Liberals predict.

OTTAWA — The parliamentary budget watchdog is projecting the federal deficit this fiscal year will come in $2.1 billion lower than the Liberals have predicted.

Yves Giroux's office chalks up the change to higher-than-anticipated income-tax revenues that the government has collected this fiscal year, which closes in March.

A report out this morning from the parliamentary budget office predicts that this year's budget deficit will be $16 billion, less than the $18.1 billion the Liberals anticipate.

Had the economy been weaker or tax revenues lower, the report says, the federal deficit for the 2018-2019 fiscal year could have hit $23.2 billion when taking into account extra spending in Finance Minister Bill Morneau's fall economic update.

More than half the $7.2-billion swing in the projection is due to stronger tax revenues than Giroux predicted in the fall.

The report says corporate income-tax revenues are $3 billion higher than the watchdog forecast in October.

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