FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released second-quarter results for the 2019-20 fiscal year which show a projected surplus of $88.1 million compared to the budgeted surplus of $23.1 million.

The net debt is projected to decrease by $232.7 million from budget. This includes an improvement of $146 million due to 2018-19 year-end results and an $86.7 million improvement in 2019-20.

“Today’s financial update shows that we remain on track for a surplus and the first reduction in the province’s net debt since 2006-07,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “Despite these positive results, we need to remember that we are still not in a financial position to spend more. We are facing serious financial and social challenges, and New Brunswick needs an affordable and responsive government. We have to get our fiscal house in order if we want to be able to afford essential services in the long-term.”

Revenue is projected to be $101.6 million higher than budgeted largely due to a $72 million increase in Personal Income Tax revenue and a $44.6 million increase in special operating agencies revenue related to new federal funding.

Total expenses are projected to be higher than budgeted by $36.6 million largely due to $38.7 million in additional expenses in special operating agencies related to new federal funding.

Second quarter year-to-date actuals show a surplus of $87.3 million compared to a quarterly budgeted surplus of $89.4 million.

“Maintaining a sustainable balance in our finances is not a one-year task,” said Steeves. “It requires continued diligence and responsible decision making. We have a plan and we have set priorities. We are committed to doing what is necessary to ensure New Brunswickers, and the next generation, have a secure future.”

The Department of Finance and Treasury Board projects real GDP growth for New Brunswick of 0.6 per cent for 2019, unchanged from the forecast in the 2019-20 Budget. The average of private sector forecasts is now 0.9 per cent.

The second-quarter results are available online.

Affordable and responsive government is one of the government’s key priorities. More information about the government’s priorities and measurements is available online.