Alberta halves projected budget deficit to $7.8B; credits global boost in oil demand

·1 min read

EDMONTON — New numbers show Alberta's bottom line is on track to look better this fiscal year, but the province remains mired in a deep ditch of red ink.

Finance Minister Travis Toews says this year's deficit is projected to be $7.8 billion, less than half of the $18.2 billion projected in the 2021-22 budget in February.

Taxpayer-supported debt is projected to reach nearly $106 billion by next March, with debt interest payments pegged at $2.6 billion.

The government credits the turnaround to an ongoing economic recovery from COVID-19 and to a rebound in the energy sector.

West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark price for oil, was expected to fetch US$46 a barrel in the budget, but has been rising sharply and is expected to average more than US$65 a barrel this year.

The government says there has been a worldwide resurgence in oil demand along with price restraint by the oil cartel OPEC.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting