Ottawa beats estimate of annual deficit by $2.8 billion

OTTAWA — Ottawa says it was $2.8 billion to the good on its deficit projections last year.

OTTAWA — Ottawa says it was $2.8 billion to the good on its deficit projections last year.

The federal government says its final accounting shows last year’s deficit for 2010-11 was $33.4 billion, better than the $36.2-billion shortfall it had estimated in June’s economic update.

That’s about 40 per cent lower than the record $55.6 billion posted in 2009-10 when Ottawa was responding to a deep global recession.

The improved results were due to a $1.5-billion increase in revenue over earlier estimates, while program spending was $1.2 billion less.

Ottawa says almost half of the deficit is attributable to stimulus measures to help the economy emerging from recession.