Frequently Asked Questions About the Annual Financial Report 2019
What is the Annual Financial Report?
The Annual Financial Report (AFR) provides an overview of the Government’s financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.
The AFR also includes condensed consolidated financial statements of the Government and the audit opinion of the Auditor General of Canada.
The complete consolidated financial statements are available on the Public Services and Procurement Canada website.
What is the difference between the federal debt (accumulated deficit) and total government net debt, as reported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)?
The federal debt (accumulated deficit) is the federal government’s main measure of debt. It is equal to the Government’s total liabilities less total assets, measured on a Public Accounts basis.
Net debt is the difference between total liabilities and financial assets (i.e., cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, foreign exchange accounts, loans, investments and advances, and public sector pension assets). In this measure of debt, total liabilities are reduced only by financial assets, as non-financial assets, such as buildings, infrastructure and inventories, cannot normally be converted to cash to pay off debt without disrupting government operations.
International comparisons of net debt, such as those published by the IMF, are made on a total government, National Accounts basis, which for Canada includes the net debt of the federal, provincial/territorial and local governments, as well as the net assets in the Canada Pension Plan and Québec Pension Plan.
Further information on these debt measures can be found in the AFR.
How does our debt level compare with other developed countries?
Canada’s debt level compares very well with other Group of Seven (G7) economies.
Canada’s total government net debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio, as reported by the IMF, stood at 26.8 per cent in 2018.
This is the lowest level among G7 countries, and less than half the G7 average, which the IMF expects will be 86.0 per cent of GDP for the same year.
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