B.C. Financial Minister Michael de Jong announced today that B.C. is currently on target for a balanced budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
The provincial government anticipates a surplus of $266 million, an increase of $82 million from original forecasts.
Revenues improved by $515 million, but were partly offset by higher expenses of $433 million – largely for fighting this summer’s forest fires and enacting flood-related emergency programs. Forest firefighting alone is expected to cost $350 million this year.
The taxpayer-supported debt for the fiscal year is projected to be $785 million lower than what was predicted in the budget. The government says B.C. still maintains a triple-A credit rating due to its “affordable” debt-to-GDP ratio.
With the economy, the province’s real GDP will increase by 1.9 per cent this year, down by one-tenth of a percentage point from the budget. The budget also called for growth forecasts of 2.3 per cent in 2015 and 2.5 per cent in 2016.
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