Ontario First Quarter Report Indicates Province on Track to Balance Budget in Next Fiscal Year
Today the Ontario government released the 2016-17 Ontario First Quarter Finances. The report confirms Ontario is on track to balance the budget next year, in 2017-18, which will also continue to lower the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio.
Key indicators from the Ontario First Quarter report include:
- Total revenue projected at $130.6 billion, unchanged from the 2016 Budget.
- Provincial program expense projected at $122.1 billion, unchanged from the 2016 Budget.
- Interest on debt projected at $11.8 billion, unchanged from the 2016 Budget.
- A projected deficit of $4.3 billion in 2016-17, unchanged from the 2016 Budget.
- All expense changes have been accommodated within the current fiscal plan, reflecting the government’s commitment to manage growth in spending while protecting services that Ontarians rely on. Changes include increases to support children and youth with autism through the new Ontario Autism Program, funding to support disaster relief for both the Fort McMurray wildfires and Ecuador earthquakes and funding to address urgent health care needs and improve access to care for First Nations peoples primarily focused in the North.
Ontario’s net debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to peak at 39.6 per cent in 2015-16, remain level in 2016-17 and begin trending downward in 2017-18.
“Ontario’s 2016–17 First Quarter Finances confirm that our government remains on track to balance the budget by 2017–18. We are doing so by managing growth in program spending, while continuing to make investments in our economy and our people, while supporting a healthy, prosperous low-carbon future.” — Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
The government’s economic plan is building Ontario up and delivering on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- The Ontario First Quarter finance reports contains updated information about Ontario’s fiscal outlook for the current fiscal year, including updated information about the major components of the revenues and expenses as set out in the fiscal plan. As required by the Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Act, the First Quarter Ontario Finances is released on or before August 15.
- Ontario posted higher real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2016 than Canada, the U.S. and all other G7 countries. While uncertain global growth expectations remain a challenge, Ontario’s diversified economy means the province is well positioned to respond to changing global economic conditions. In addition, the government continues to put in place a strategy that promotes economic growth and stability, through investments in business and innovation that allow for Ontario to remain globally competitive.
- Private-sector forecasters project that, on average, Ontario’s real GDP will grow by 2.6 per cent in 2016, up from 2.3 per cent at the time of February’s 2016 Budget.
- The government remains on track to generate $5.7 billion in net revenue gains over time from its asset optimization initiative. All net revenue gains from the sale of qualifying assets will be dedicated to the Trillium Trust to help fund investments in transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure under Moving Ontario Forward.