Ontario Maintains Commitment to Balanced Budget
Province Releases Third Quarter Finances
Today, the Government of Ontario reported that the province is still on track to a balanced budget while making life more affordable for individuals and families and helping businesses create good jobs with the release of the 2019-20 Third Quarter Finances.
The 2019-20 Third Quarter Finances provides an update on Ontario's fiscal outlook as of December 31, 2019. It is the first fiscal report since the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: A Plan to Build Ontario Together and the last fiscal report before the 2020 Budget. Each quarter, the government has delivered on its commitment to transparency and accountability in the government's finances by publicly releasing the province's quarterly fiscal update.
Key updates in the report include:
- A deficit projection of $9.0 billion in 2019-20, consistent with the Fall Economic Statement and a $1.3 billion improvement from the 2019 Budget.
- Total revenue is projected to increase by $3.1 billion over the 2019 Budget, reflecting strong job growth, rising household incomes and strengthening home resales.
- Ontario's economy continued to grow in the third quarter of 2019. Real GDP grew by 0.6 per cent, following a gain of 0.8 per cent in the second quarter. Third quarter growth was supported by higher consumer spending, investment in residential structures and stronger exports.
- Interest on debt expense is projected to be $630 million lower in 2019-20 than forecasted in the 2019 Budget. Every dollar saved on servicing the debt is one more dollar that can go to ensuring the sustainability of services that the people of Ontario rely on.
- Program expense is projected to increase by $2.5 billion higher than the 2019 Budget projection, demonstrating that the government is continuing to make life more affordable by helping Ontarians manage electricity costs and investing in health care, education and other social services.
- Ontario's credit ratings were confirmed by all four credit rating agencies (Moody's, DBRS, S&P and Fitch), and Fitch also improved the outlook on the Province's rating to Stable from Negative.
"Ontario is making strategic investments in healthcare and education while ensuring tax dollars are spent responsibly and creating a more competitive environment for businesses and job creation," Phillips said. "Ontario's plan to grow the economy is working. This fiscal update shows the Province is becoming more adaptable and stable in a sometimes uncertain world."
The next fiscal update will be the 2020 Ontario Budget on or before March 31, 2020.
- The government’s Fiscal Sustainability, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2019 (FSTAA), requires that quarterly updates of Ontario’s finances be released on or before August 15th and February 15th of each year.
- Ontario’s net debt-to-GDP ratio for 2019-20 is projected to be 39.9 per cent, 0.8 percentage points lower than the 40.7 per cent 2019 Budget forecast.
- Since June 2018, 291,900 net new jobs have been created in Ontario.