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CALGARY, Alberta, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Alberta expects its current-year deficit to balloon to as much as C$4 billion ($4 billion), more than four times its initial forecast, due to a deep discount on the Western Canadian province's oil and the strong domestic currency, the government said on Tuesday.
In its third-quarter update, the Conservative government of Premier Alison Redford said the 2012-13 deficit could be C$3.5 billion to C$4 billion, compared with an initial budget projection of C$886 million. The forecast has increased throughout this year.
Redford has already warned that the next budget, due March 7, will be a tough one because of an expected C$6 billion shortfall in energy revenues.