FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released its second-quarter fiscal results for 2017-18.

The government is currently projecting a deficit of $135.4 million for 2017-18. This is a reduction of $56.6 million compared to the budgeted deficit of just under $192 million and an improvement of $20.7 million from the first-quarter projection of $156.1 million.

“Your government is consistently meeting its financial targets, as demonstrated with today's second-quarter update,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “We are reducing the deficit in a steady, responsible way, and we remain on track to eliminate the deficit by 2020-21. We have a fiscal plan in place to achieve balance without making deep cuts to important services for New Brunswickers like education and health care.”

Revenue is projected to be $22.5 million higher than budgeted while expenditures are down $34.1 million from budget.

Net debt is projected to increase by $298 million, an improvement of $64.1 million from the original budget projection. Net debt is projected to reach $14.1 billion by March 31, 2018.

The report indicates the provincial economy is estimated to grow, with real GDP growth forecast at 0.8 per cent for 2017. The consensus among private sector forecasters is growth of 1.4 per cent.

“We will continue to monitor the economy and revenue developments and manage our spending closely as we work toward meeting or exceeding the results we achieved in 2016-17,” said Rogers.

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