Peter Dazeley via Getty Images
OTTAWA — The federal government ran a deficit of $2.3 billion in August, according to the Finance Department's monthly fiscal monitor. The result compares with a deficit of $300 million in the same month last year, and a surplus of $150 million a month earlier, in July. Revenue increased by $2.8 billion, or 14.6 per cent, for the month compared to August of 2014, while program spending increased by $4.4 billion, or 24.8 per cent. The increase in spending was due mainly to updated estimates related to pension and other employee and veteran benefit costs. Public debt charges increased by $500 million, or 23.5 per cent, due in part to charges from a bond buyback. For the fiscal year that began in April, Ottawa has a surplus of $2.8 billion so far. That compares with a deficit of $1.1 billion for the same five-month period last year.