The federal government posted a budgetary deficit of $3.6 billion in the first eight months of the fiscal year. 

In its monthly fiscal monitor, the finance department says the deficit compares to a deficit of $73.7 billion during the same period last year. 

Government revenues were up $35.5 billion or 14.8 per cent compared to the same period last year, largely due to improvement in economic growth and the fading effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time, program expenses excluding net actuarial losses were down $40.4 billion, or 13.9 per cent, largely due to COVID-19 measures expiring.

Public debt charges were up $6.1 billion or 36.8 per cent, which the finance department attributes to rising interest rates and elevated inflation. 

Net actuarial losses were down $0.3 billion, or 4.7 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.