By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada recorded its second surplus of fiscal 2021/22 in February, as its budget deficit for the first 11 months of the fiscal year shrunk considerably compared with the year-ago period, the finance ministry said on Friday.

The February surplus was C$5.47 billion ($4.28 billion) compared with a deficit of C$14.37 billion in February 2021, the data showed.

The April to February shortfall was C$69.82 billion compared with a C$282.56 billion deficit in the year-ago period, as the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to recede.

“As expected, the government’s 2021–22 financial results show a marked improvement compared to the peak of the COVID-19 crisis,” the finance ministry said.

April-February revenues grew by 34.9%, led by higher tax revenues and other revenues. Program expenses fell 23.2%, largely on lower emergency transfers to individuals and businesses.

Canada’s fiscal year runs from April to March.

($1 = 1.2773 Canadian dollars)