Canada sees improved fiscal outlook, bigger surplus in 2015

Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:45pm EST
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EDMONTON Nov 12 (Reuters) - Canada expects to easily meet its goal of eliminating its budget deficit by 2015, just ahead of an election, and now sees a bigger surplus for that year than it did before, even as it warns of an uncertain global economic outlook.

The finance ministry estimated on Tuesday a surplus of C$3.7 billion ($3.5 billion) in the 2015/16 fiscal year, up from its March 2013 forecast of an C$800 million surplus.

The figures include a C$3 billion downward adjustment for risk, which means the underlying surplus is likely to be that much bigger.

The governing Conservatives promised in the 2011 election campaign that they would introduce personal income tax cuts once the budget is balanced. They are expected to revive that promise in hopes of getting re-elected in October 2015.

The federal government's fiscal outlook has brightened because weaker revenues have been more than offset by lower program spending and public debt charges, the finance ministry said in its fall fiscal update.

But Ottawa cut its forecast for nominal gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the tax base, this year and next and warned of risks to the U.S. and global economies.