Higher oil prices help push down Alberta's forecast deficit
Higher oil prices are pushing down Alberta's forecast deficit.
The province's first quarter fiscal highlights reveal that were headed towards a $1.3 billion shortfall this year, a decrease of 60 per cent from the budget.
Revenue is projected to be $2.7 billion higher than expected, due to strong land leases and higher crude prices.
While expenses are forecast to increase $650 million from the budget, with most of that, $456 million relates to disaster and emergency funding, including assistance to Slave Lake.
In the first three months of the fiscal year, the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund earned $269 million dollars in net investment income.
"With a strengthening economy, more Albertans working and a smaller deficit forecast, the province is in good shape," said Premier Ed Stelmach in a statement. "We put the Way Forward plan into action in 2009, and this plan has served Albertans well through the recession and recovery. We continue to manage our spending, have made carefully considered investments in infrastructure and key priority programs, and will use our savings in the Sustainability Fund to cover the deficit until we return to balanced budgets."