Manitoba narrows 2009-10 deficit to $201 million

Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:03pm EDT
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Manitoba ran a $201 million deficit in its 2009-10 fiscal year, less than half the shortfall it had forecast, Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk said on Monday.

Manitoba had projected a $555 million deficit for the year ended March 31.

Wowchuk said in a statement that the province had weathered the global recession relatively well but gave no specific reasons for the smaller than expected deficit.

The province also said that in its current 2010-11 fiscal year, it ran a first-quarter deficit of C$218 million, which is C$146 million less than forecast, due to higher than expected revenues and lower than expected expenses.

The province projects a $545 million deficit for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

While Manitoba law requires the government to post balanced budgets, the rules allow shortfalls as long as province doesn't average a deficit over four years.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel; editing by Rob Wilson)