(Ottawa) The federal government accumulated a budget deficit of $1.2 billion during the first four months of its fiscal year, compared to a surplus of $6.3 billion during the same period a year earlier.

The Ministry of Finance released its monthly financial review on Friday, providing an overview of the federal government’s finances for its 2023-2024 fiscal year.

Government revenues increased by $2.8 billion, or 2 percent, which the ministry said largely reflected higher interest and other non-tax revenues.

However, program expenses excluding net actuarial losses increased by $7.2 billion, or 5.9 percent, as spending increased in all major spending categories.

Rising interest rates also pushed up public debt charges by 3.3 billion, an increase of 29.9% from the previous year.

At the same time, net actuarial losses decreased by 200 million, or 4.7%.