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Alberta deficit forecast drops to $9.1B, as province gains 90,000 jobs in latest financial update

CBC News | Feb 28, 2018

“Alberta is now forecasting a year-end deficit of $9.1 billion, a drop of $1.4 billion from the figure in the March 2017 budget.

The improvement, reported Wednesday in the third-quarter update, is mostly due to higher oil and gas revenues and gains in investment income.

The brightening economic outlook has prompted Alberta Finance to update its GDP prediction for the third time this fiscal year.

The provincial unemployment rate has been revised to 6.8 per cent, an improvement over the 7.6-per-cent rate forecast in March 2017.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci said nearly 90,000 full-time jobs were added between January 2017 and January 2018, with 12,500 in mining and oil and gas production, nearly 23,000 in manufacturing, about 8,000 in the financial and real estate sector, 7,100 in transportation and warehousing and 5,700 in the accommodation and food service sector.

Ceci said he expects the province’s economy to be fully recovered in a year.

“We are forecasting we will be at pre-recession levels by 2019,” he said.

The finance minister announced the 2018-19 budget will be released on March 22. The government is expected to lay out how it plans to return to balanced budgets by 2023.”

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