Ottawa, February 2, 2010

Archived - Leading Private Sector Economists Provide Updated Economic Growth Projections to Minister of Finance

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today met with Canada's leading private sector economists to gather their views on economic prospects for the country. The economists provided updated economic growth projections that will inform the fiscal and economic forecasts of the Government in the next federal budget.

"Our Government's priority will be to continue the rapid implementation of the Economic Action Plan, planning for deficit reduction once the economy has recovered, and building a strong foundation for job creation and economic growth," said Minister Flaherty. "We need the most up-to-date private sector projections to ensure that our economic assumptions are sound, objective, and based on the best possible information we can get."

When planning the budget, the Department of Finance bases its economic forecast on the average of private sector economic forecasts. The Department surveyed 15 private sector forecasters in December 2009. This survey included responses received up to December 18th, and the results of the average private sector forecast in this survey are broadly similar to those used in the Government's September 2009 Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections over the medium term. The survey suggests that the forecast uncertainty has been reduced from record levels and that the unemployment rate is forecast to be lower in the near term than expected in September.

The economists agreed that the average economic forecast from the survey was a reasonable planning base for Budget 2010. The 2010 budget will include an updated fiscal forecast, reflecting revenue and spending developments to date in 2009-10, updated spending plans of departments, and any significant revisions from private sector forecasters and due to other economic developments.

"While there have been encouraging signs in recent months that the economy continues to stabilize, the global economy remains fragile," said Minister Flaherty. "This is why we must stay the course in implementing the Economic Action Plan."

For further information, media may contact:

Annette Robertson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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