Originally posted on National Post | News:

OTTAWA — New data shows the federal government appears well ahead of course for controlling spending.

The numbers released in the country’s public accounts show Ottawa’s total expenses came in $9.9-billion lower in the fiscal year 2011-12 than was projected in the June 2011 budget.

Program expenses were $8-billion lower — the rest came from a decrease in interest charges to service the debt.

The headline for the report was that the deficit for the year was $26.2-billion.

[np-related]

While higher than Ottawa’s most recent estimate, it was actually $6-billion less than what Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expected when he handed in the budget in June 2011.

Ottawa had released the adjustment in the deficit earlier this month.

Previous reporting, including from the government’s monthly fiscal monitor, had pointed to slowing spending growth, but the national accounts calculation released Tuesday shows just how dramatic the drop has been.

Overall, spending…

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