FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released fiscal results for the first quarter of 2017-18.

The government is projecting a deficit of $156 million for 2017-18. This is a reduction of $35 million compared to the budgeted deficit of $191 million.

“Your government has a fiscal plan in place and that plan is working,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “We are reducing the deficit in a steady, responsible way and our economy is improving. We have been able to achieve these results while still investing strategically in the priorities of New Brunswickers. This is good news for our province.”

Revenue is projected to be $10 million higher than budgeted while expenditures are down $25 million from budget. The report also indicates that the government remains on track to meet savings targets outlined during the Strategic Program Review process.

Rogers said that although the economy is performing better than expected, the government remains cautious and prudent with its economic growth expectations. It projects real GDP growth of 0.8 per cent for 2017, up from the 0.6 per cent forecasted at the time of the 2017-18 budget. The consensus among private sector forecasters is growth of 1.2 per cent for 2017.

“The results announced provide positive momentum and show that we continue to meet or exceed our financial targets,” said Rogers. “With that said, it is early in the fiscal year and we will continue to closely monitor the economy and revenue developments, as well as manage our spending.”

The 2017-18 first-quarter report is available online.