Deficit Down Even Further in Latest Fiscal and Economic Update

Deficit Down Even Further in Latest Fiscal and Economic Update

November 6, 2018

Today Tom Osborne, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board, announced the deficit for Budget 2018 is $136 million less than originally forecast. The projected deficit for Budget 2018 is now $547 million. This figure is almost $2 billion less than the budget deficit inherited from the former PC Government.

Reasons for the Decreasing Deficit

Minister Osborne pointed to a number of reasons for the adjusted numbers. These include:

  • Better than anticipated revenue ($130 million more than originally forecast);
  • Increases in the price of oil;
  • US to Canada exchange rate; and
  • Expenses steady and slightly decreasing, down $5.7 million.

Favourable Economic Indicators

There are also new economic indicators that unexpected improvement. These are:

  • An unemployment rate on the decline from 2017;
  • Project growth in retail sales between 2018 and 2022;
  • Household income expected to trend up in line with wage gains; and
  • Capital investment in 2019 expected to be near $11 billion, a figure near the $11.5 billion that was invested in 2013 during the peak of mega project development.

Quote from Minister Osborne

The balanced approach we established with The Way Forward is working, and economic indicators are showing that our economy is improving. We have reduced the overall annual deficit by nearly $2 billion since the situation we faced in December 2016. We have done this while maintaining public access to services and promoting economic development. We will continue to act as responsible stewards for the public purse, improving our fiscal situation while building for our future.”

Solid Financial Management and Economic Growth

The news today continues to show your Liberal Government and its members are strong financial managers of the provincial economy. The deficit is down almost $2 billion since taking office and we are on track to eliminate the budget deficit by 2022-23. At the same time the provincial economy is being diversified through The Way Forward. We are investing in the high growth sectors of natural resources, agriculture, aquaculture and technology to create good jobs for Newfoundland and Labradorians. We will continue to work towards a full economic recovery for Newfoundland and Labrador, a job that we are bested suited to perform.