OTTAWA—Canada recorded a $148.58 billion budget deficit for the first four months of the 2020-21 fiscal year, reflecting the impact of the economic downturn and the cost of COVID-19 emergency aid, the finance department said Friday.
By comparison, Canada posted a $1.56 billion deficit in the same period of fiscal 2019-20.
Revenues fell by 34.1 percent from the same April to July period last year, on lower tax revenues and lower other revenues. Program expenses, meanwhile, jumped 106.2 percent on emergency aid and support transfers to individuals, and crisis funding for businesses, the finance department said.
On a monthly basis, Canada posted a deficit of $28.23 billion in July, compared to the $1.47 billion deficit recorded in July 2019.
Monthly revenues fell by 22.5 percent as tax revenues and other revenues fell, while program expenses jumped 76.9 percent on higher transfers to businesses, individuals and other levels of government, which were part of Ottawa's COVID-19 response.
The finance ministry noted there could be "substantial volatility in monthly results due to the timing of revenue receipts and expense recognition."