Despite hot economy, feds to continue deficits to invest: Morneau

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OTTAWA _ Bill Morneau is suggesting that even with the scorching economy he’s not planning to lay out a timetable to balance Ottawa’s books.

The federal finance minister says the Trudeau government will continue with its strategy to invest tens of billions of dollars into infrastructure by running annual deficits over at least the next five years.

Morneau’s remarks outside a cabinet retreat in St. John’s come after months of impressive economic data _ including a recent report showing growth expanded by 4.5 per cent in the second quarter.

In his spring budget, Morneau forecasted a $28.5-billion deficit this year _ but a new analysis by a University of Ottawa think tank predicts the stronger economy will improve the government’s bottom line by about $6.5 billion.

Morneau says the government’s decade-long infrastructure strategy was designed to lift the economy over the long term.

He also credits the economy’s better-than-expected performance on Ottawa’s plan to run shortfalls in order to lower taxes on middle-income earners and to enhance child benefits.

 

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