Manitoba’s deficit lower than forecast

Manitoba’s deficit has come in much lower than expected.

The Progressive Conservative government says the final numbers for the fiscal year that ended in March show a deficit of 704-million dollars.

That is less than half the one-point-six billion dollars originally projected.

The Finance department says the economy rebounded faster than expected, as COVID-19 restrictions on businesses were lifted.

There were also higher federal transfer payments, such as a one-time payment to reduce surgical backlogs.

On the downside, Manitoba Hydro lost money due to a drought that reduced exports.

The deficit is expected to be even lower this year.

A first-quarter fiscal update forecasts a deficit of 202-million dollars, less than half of what was predicted in the budget in April.

A major factor is the wet weather this spring and summer, which has turned things around at Manitoba Hydro and increased exports.

The Progressive Conservative government has promised to stop annual deficits by 2028.

(The Canadian Press)

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