First-quarter results reflect solid economic recovery and population growth
The provincial government’s first-quarter results for the 2022-23 fiscal year show a $135.5 million surplus.
“These quarterly results demonstrate that we continue to make progress towards building our financial resilience despite these turbulent times,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “By managing our finances responsibly over the past four years, the cost of servicing our debt is lower than it otherwise would have been, allowing for more money to be invested in services for our people.”
Total expenses are projected to be $119.9 million higher than budgeted. This is due to higher-than-expected expenses as a result of the carryover of federal funding in the WorkingNB program; increased costs in Post-Secondary Affairs related to higher interest rates; the Emergency Fuel and Food Benefit; and a projected increase in transportation costs for clients and partners.
Revenue is projected to be $220.2 million higher than budgeted.
“The economy has recovered much faster, and our population is growing at a rate not seen since the 1970s,” said Steeves. “These factors have contributed significantly to the improved results for our tax revenues. We have also received one-time federal revenue subsequent to our budget.
“Despite these results, the challenges are many, including the effects of COVID-19, high inflation, labour supply shortages, rising interest rates and long-term health-care costs. We must strike a balance between addressing today’s needs against a sustainable future for generations to come.”
The department projects real GDP growth of 2.2 per cent in 2022, comparable to the average among private sector forecasters, which is 2.3 per cent.