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Every other Tuesday, we release 5 Minutes for Business, a publication written by Hendrik Brakel, our Senior Director of Economic, Financial and Tax Policy. In these publications, Hendrik briefly describes current issues that affect the Canadian economy and provides insight on what it will mean for Canadians today and the future. This report looks at how important it is for a government to balance the national budget.

Falling oil prices and “economic uncertainty” prompted Canada’s Minister of Finance, Joe Oliver, to delay the budget to an unprecedented April 21. The federal government needed Herculean efforts, a few gimmicks like the sale of GM shares and a new approach to oil revenue forecasting in order to present a balanced budget on that date. At the same time, provinces with balanced budgets this year are an exclusive club of just B.C., P.E.I. and Quebec. So does it really matter who has black ink in the bottom line for 2015-16?

The answer may surprise you. Based on IMF reports and international comparisons, this week’s 5 Minutes for Business explores the relationship between balanced budgets and economic growth, even going so far as to compare our situation with that of Greece. Are we really doing better than our European friends? Read on to find out!

Read 5 Minutes for Business.

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