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November 21, 2013
For immediate release
Improved outlook for the Province’s finances
Finance and Energy
The Island’s fiscal outlook has improved, with bright spots in employment growth and the primary industries, said Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan.
“Our economy remains resilient following the global economic downturn,” said Minister Sheridan. “We are on the right track to reach a balanced budget.”
The 2013/14 deficit is now expected to come in at $57.7 million, which is a $1.2 million improvement over the budgeted deficit of $58.9 million. Health care costs continue to be a pressure, but other departments were able to reduce their costs.
The 2013 Fall Economic update highlighted some encouraging trends, including:
• Provincial GDP advanced 1.5 per cent in 2012. Private sector forecasts place 2013 real GDP growth in a range between 1.2 and 1.5 per cent.
• Prince Edward Island was the only province in the Atlantic region to see an increase in its population.
• Employment has averaged 74,300 people through October 2013, an increase of 2.5 per cent from the same period in 2012, which is the third fastest expansion in the country behind Saskatchewan and Alberta.
• The value of residential investment on the Island increased 19.4 per cent through the first half of 2013, as compared with the same time period in 2012.
• Lobster landings increased 5.6 per cent to 28.8 million pounds, an all-time high.
• In the agriculture sector, good harvest conditions resulted in some high quality crops.
• The 2013 cruise ship season was the largest the Island has ever seen, with 69 ships and 93,000 passengers visiting the Island.
“We are pleased to see such improvements across the different sectors,” said Minister Sheridan. “The Island economy is on the right path and the Province’s fiscal plan remains on track. In recent months, all three of the bond raters have again confirmed our credit ratings.”
To see the updates, please visit www.gov.pe.ca/finance.