Canada's Harper sees news getting worse every week

Thu Nov 6, 2008 2:30pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday he has been receiving gloomier and gloomier outlooks on the world economy, and Canada may not be able to avoid a budget deficit in future years.

"If I can be brutally frank about it, every week the general assessments about the general economic picture going forward, globally, have become more pessimistic -- both more pessimistic and a lot more uncertain about what the range of outcomes could be," he told reporters after meeting economists.

Harper repeated that the federal budget would stay in the black this fiscal year, which ends March 31, but said the economists he met advised him not to "be afraid to run a deficit if a deficit is in the best interests of the economy."

(Reporting by John McCrank, writing by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson)

<p>Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks to journalists after meeting with members of the C.D. Howe Institute Monetary Policy Council Toronto, November 6, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>