Harper says budget based on worsening economy

Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:47am EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Tuesday it is "extremely difficult" to make economic forecasts for this year, but conceded the 2009 federal budget is based on the assumption the economy will worsen.

Harper also told reporters in Toronto that Canada will face economic difficulties this year but he sees some strong sectors, including financial and housing.

"We have never seen such a range of forecasts from the various economists that we've been consulting. The truth is we don't know. The budget that we tabled, the economic action plan the size of it, the size of the stimulus measures we're undertaking were based on an assumption, to be frank, that the economy will get worse during 2009," he said.

($1=$1.26 Canadian)

(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)