The provincial government is optimistic coming out of the first quarter of the financial year.
First quarter financial numbers released Monday show the province’s deficit is projected to be at $306 million dollars which is down from $365 million predicted when the budget was released back in March.
The government credits the $59 million drop in the expected deficit to higher resource revenues and more money coming in from Crown Corporations.
“Three months into the fiscal year, we’re seeing a growing economy and an improving fiscal picture,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said in a news release.
“Our government continues to manage spending carefully, invest in priorities for Saskatchewan people, shift from our reliance on volatile resource revenue and help keep out economy strong.”
The first quarter review also showed signs of recovery in manufacturing as well as the oil and gas sector and potash mining. Oil production increased by eight per cent compared to the same period last year, while potash production increased by 11 per cent.
It seems more people are arriving in Saskatchewan are making it home. The province reported a population of 1,171,240 on April 1 which is an increase of 11,691 people at this time last year.
While optimism is tempered, Harpauer expressed excitement at the prospect of returning the province to a balanced budget by 2020.
“Our economy grew for the first time in two years last year, and while it’s early, we continue to see some positive signals this year. In terms of our fiscal plan, there is still work to do, but we are on course to return the province to balance by 2019-2020.” Harpauer said.