N.B. releases second quarter budget results

The government has released second-quarter results for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

Projections show a surplus of $35.3 million, compared to the budgeted surplus of $40.3 million.

Total revenue is projected to be $156.2 million higher than budget, due largely to stronger-than-anticipated growth in the economy.

Total expenses are projected to be over budget by $161.2 million, and the net debt is projected at $12.6 billion.

“As we noted during our 2023-24 first-quarter release, we are not seeing the same signs of unprecedented revenue growth like we have over the past year,” said Finance Minister Ernie Steeves.

“The province continues to be in a healthy fiscal position, and this government remains committed to the approach of balanced and sustainable financial stewardship.”

Other highlights from the second quarter:

  • Harmonized sales tax revenue is up $77.7 million due to strengthening of the national revenue pool.
  • Personal income tax revenue is up $51 million due to higher income and population growth.
  • Corporate income tax revenue is down $48.3 million due to a reduction in the national corporate taxable income forecast, on which payments are based.
  • Unconditional grants are down $17.1 million due to federal estimates of Canada Health and Canada Social transfers.
  • The Department of Health is projected to be over budget by $162 million due to higher operating and personnel costs in regional health authorities and additional costs to medicare.
  • The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour is projected to be over budget by $53 million due to increased demands and federal funding for the WorkingNB program, which required additional investments by the provincial government, as well as costs related to implementing the New Brunswick Housing Strategy.
  • Natural Resources and Energy Development is projected to be over budget by $21.2 million due mainly to costs related to the Enhanced Energy Savings Program.
  • Service of the public debt is projected to be down $78.6 million from budget due to higher short-term interest earnings, projected savings in the long-term borrowing program, and the adoption of a new accounting standard for financial instruments.

The department projects real GDP growth of 1.1 per cent for 2023, which matches the average among private sector forecasters.

The second-quarter results are available online.

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