The federal government posted a budgetary deficit of $1.2 billion during the first four months of its fiscal year, compared with a surplus of $6.3 billion during the same period a year earlier. 

The Finance Department released its monthly fiscal update today, offering insight into the federal government's finances for the 2023-24 fiscal year. 

The report shows government revenues were up $2.8 billion, or two per cent, which the department says largely reflects higher interest revenues and other non-tax revenues. 

However, program expenses excluding net actuarial losses were up $7.2 billion, or 5.9 per cent, as expenses rose across the board.

Higher interest rates have also pushed up public debt charges by $3.3 billion, an increase of 29.9 per cent from the previous year. 

Meanwhile, net actuarial losses decreased by $200 million or 4.7 per cent. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2023.