By comparison, the deficit in the same period a year earlier had been just C$5.54 billion, it said in a statement.

Program expenses rose 6.6% on increases across all major categories of spending. Public debt charges jumped by 35.6% largely because of higher interest rates, the ministry said.

Year-to-date revenues grew by 2.6%, largely reflecting higher personal income tax revenue and revenue from other taxes and duties.

On a monthly basis, Canada posted a deficit of C$4.47 billion in December, compared to a C$1.98 billion deficit in December 2022.

($1 = 1.3484 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee, editing by David Ljunggren; Reuters Ottawa bureau;; Keywords: CANADA BUDGET/)