British Columbia Budget Deficit Cut In Half As Natural Resources Rebound

British Columbia's budget deficit is expected to be lower than originally forecast as the province’s natural resources sector rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Selina Robinson says the province's financial statement for the first three months of the 2021-22 fiscal year projects a deficit of $4.8 billion, about half the $9.7 billion that was originally forecast in the budget.

She says the lower deficit projection is the result of an improved job market along with higher revenues from the strengthening natural resources sector that includes lumber and fishing.

Robinson says B.C.'s economy is forecast to grow by 4% this year, slightly higher than the 3.8% projected in the budget issued this past spring. However, the provincial finance minister cautions that COVID-19 still poses a threat to British Columbia’s economic recovery.