Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will be presenting an updated picture of Canada’s finances on Nov. 21, when she tables the 2023 fall economic statement.
Finance Canada confirmed the date of the annual economic presentation on Thursday, in which Freeland is expected to present a revised assessment of the federal deficit and planned spending, from what was outlined in the last budget.
With a slowing economy and a revised spending and savings plan, Freeland is framing this update as a check-in on Canada’s financial situation and the government’s “plan to help create good jobs, to build more homes and to make life more affordable.”
the government had plans for continued deficit spending targeted at Canadians’ pocketbooks, public health care and the clean economy. In the months since, the Liberals have put a fresh focus on the housing crisis and the cost of groceries.
As of that mega economic update in March, the federal deficit was projected to be $40.1 billion in 2023-24, nearly $10 billion more than forecast in the previous fall’s economic snapshot. In a financial statement published last month, the 2022-23 deficit was $35.3 billion.
The federal government’s financial statements were published Tuesday, revealing the deficit for the 2022-23 fiscal year came in at $35.3 billion, $7.7 billion lower than the $43 billion forecasted.
With the Bank of Canada still trying to tamp down inflation—suggesting recently that fiscal and monetary policy are rowing in opposite directions—and the Conservatives grilling the government over its spending, restraint has been a word Freeland’s been repeating as of late.
Anticipating the fall economic update was around the corner, Business Council of Canada CEO Goldy Hyder penned a letter to Freeland late last month, stating “new seriousness is required,” given the current geopolitical uncertainty and domestic economic conditions.
“While we may have avoided a recession so far, there is considerable risk that could change in the next few quarters. At best, private sector economists’ forecasts point to no growth in 2024 and very weak growth thereafter,” Hyder wrote.
“This suggests higher interest rates for longer to contain stubborn inflation. Whether or not there is a technical recession will be of little comfort to Canadians – who are already experiencing a higher cost of living.”
Source: CTV News