Ontario releases 2016-17 Public Accounts

Liz Sandals, President of the Treasury Board

Yesterday the province released the Public Accounts of Ontario, showing that Ontario’s deficit for last year was $991 million–$3.3 billion lower than projected in the 2016 Budget and $0.5 billion lower than the interim projection in the 2017 Budget.

Government officials say this is a result of growth in revenue that exceeded growth in program expense, and lower than forecast interest on debt.

“For eight years in a row, we have beaten our annual deficit target. We will continue to build on our track record of responsible fiscal management by balancing the budget in 2017-18. At the end of the day, a balanced budget means more funding for the programs and services people and families rely on most,” stated Liz Sandals, President of the Treasury Board.

Ontario is on track to balance the budget this year, in 2017-18, while making investments in the programs and services people and families rely on most.

Other highlights from this year’s Public Accounts include:

  • Economic growth, with a 2.7 per cent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP), up from 2.2 per cent projected in the 2016 Budget
  • Total revenue of $140.7 billion, up $2.2 billion from the 2016 Budget projection
  • Total spending of $141.7 billion, down $0.1 billion from the 2016 Budget projection
  • Interest on debt of $11.7 billion, down $0.7 billion from the 2016 Budget projection

Quick facts:

  • Ontario’s annual deficit fell from a peak of $19.3 billion in 2009-10 to $991 million in 2016-17.
  • Average annual growth of total government spending has been held to 2.3 per cent over the past five years.
  • Over the last three years, Ontario’s GDP growth has outpaced that of all G7 countries.
  • The 2016-17 Public Accounts compare Ontario’s actual financial performance to what was planned in the 2016 Budget.
  • Treasury Board Secretariat prepares Public Accounts in accordance with independently established standards set out by the Public Sector Accounting Board. Ontario’s Auditor General reviews the Public Accounts against these standards and provides an opinion on the province’s adherence to them.
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