FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released third-quarter results for the 2019-20 fiscal year which show a projected surplus of $97.8 million. These results show an improvement compared with the 2019-20 second-quarter results of $88.1 million, and the budgeted surplus of $23.1 million.

“Over the last year we have focused on making government affordable and responsive by taking several steps toward establishing sustainable balance to our finances, identifying priorities and delivering good value for money,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “We have acted with urgency and have faced our challenges head-on. These steps have put us on track to see a decline in net debt for the first time in 13 years.”

The net debt is projected to decrease by $245.1 million from budget. This includes an improvement of $146 million due to 2018-19 year-end results and a $99.2 million improvement in 2019-20.

Revenue is projected to be $92.1 million higher than budgeted. Total expenses are projected to be higher than budgeted by $17.5 million.

Third quarter year-to-date actuals show a surplus of $185 million compared to a quarterly budgeted surplus of $152.7 million.

“While we can be proud of our progress to date, we must continue to build toward a better tomorrow,” said Steeves. “Our level of debt remains much too high and represents a burden to future generations. By maintaining strong fiscal discipline, we will make it possible for government to be responsive and provide sustainable high-quality public services for all New Brunswickers.”

The Department of Finance and Treasury Board projects real GDP growth for New Brunswick of 0.8 per cent for 2019, a modest improvement from the forecast of 0.6 per cent in the 2019-20 Budget. The average of private sector forecasts is now 0.9 per cent.

The 2019-20 third-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.