Alberta's bottom line finishes strong in last fiscal year, but future cloudy | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Alberta's bottom line finishes strong in last fiscal year, but future cloudy

President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance Doug Horner announces the Government of Alberta and Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund annual report at the Albert Legislature in Edmonton, Thursday, June 28, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON - Strong returns on oil boosted Alberta's bottom line significantly in the last fiscal year, according to new figures released by the province.

Alberta's deficit was much smaller than expected last year at $23 million, meaning the province avoided having to take an extra $2.2 billion out of its rainy day Sustainability Fund.

However, early returns on oil prices this year suggest it will be a difficult feat for Finance Minister Doug Horner to duplicate.

The province relies on oil and gas revenues and taxes to fund much of its $40 billion in program spending, but both revenue sources are trending down.

The government is banking on oil averaging close to US$100 a barrel this fiscal year, but the price has been dropping steadily and now hovers in the US$80 range.

Revenue from personal and corporate income taxes fell three per cent below expectations in the last fiscal year despite 60,000 more people coming to Alberta, and real GDP growth that hit five per cent.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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