Finance Minister Siobhan Coady is projecting a deficit for 2023-24 around $154 million, slightly improved as compared to the $160 million projected at Budget 2023.
Finance Minister Siobhan Coady is predicting a stable fiscal and economic outlook. She delivered the mid-year fiscal and economic update yesterday projecting a deficit for 2023-24 around $154 million, slightly improved as compared to the $160 million projected at Budget 2023. Revenue is projected to be higher than forecast by $204 million for the fiscal year ending March 31st largely due to offshore exploration forfeitures. Coady says employment is going up and unemployment is coming down. She says most expenses remain the same as projected at budget, with a few exceptions including increases negotiated in collective bargaining agreements and debt expenses due to rising interest rates. She says interest rates are also having an effect on new housing starts. Coady says consumer spending is expected to remain strong, with the value of retail sales forecast to increase by 4.0 per cent. Population growth continued for the tenth straight quarter. On an annual basis, the province’s population increased by 7,022 persons, or 1.3 per cent, from July 1, 2022 to July 1, 2023, the largest annual increase since 1972.