FREDERICTON (GNB) – In her report tabled in the legislative assembly today, auditor general Kim MacPherson said the fiscal state of the province showed short-term positive changes during fiscal 2012.

The annual deficit was less than half that of the year before, reduced by almost $400 million. The increase in year-over-year net debt dropped from $1 billion to $430 million. She also noted total government expenses decreased by 1.6 per cent.  
In fiscal 2011, the rapid growth in New Brunswick's net debt was outpacing that of comparable provinces. However, in 2012 New Brunswick's net debt growth slowed to 4 per cent, equal to Nova Scotia and significantly less than increases exceeding 15 per cent for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

While these trends are encouraging, challenges remain. Fiscal 2012 was the fourth consecutive year of annual deficits. The last year the province reported a surplus was fiscal 2008. Net debt has increased $3.3 billion since 2007.

Most of the province's long-term financial indicators of sustainability continue to trend unfavourably.

“Fiscal 2012 results show there have been signs of short-term improvement given the smaller deficit and slower growth of net debt,” said MacPherson. “However, the long-term trends show the financial condition of the province has remained relatively unchanged. Continued diligence is required to improve the financial health of the province.”

Today's report contains two volumes; Volume I focuses on matters arising from the annual financial audit of the province and Crown agencies. Volume II reports the results of Value for Money projects completed during 2012. Both volumes are available on the Office of the Auditor General website.


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