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NB Finance Minister Ernie Steeves (Photo: Zoom)

$1B surplus for N.B. government for 2022-23

By Tara Clow Sep 27, 2023 | 1:22 PM

New Brunswick ended the last fiscal year with a surplus of just over $1 billion.

Finance Minister Ernie Steeves released financial statements for 2022-23 on Wednesday.

The final amount is $150 million higher than projected in the third quarter and marks the sixth surplus in a row.

Steeves says unprecedented revenue improvements combined with strong population and income growth in recent years have contributed to the record surplus.

“We finished with closer projections this time than seven of the other jurisdictions in Canada. We’re doing all right, but the fact of the matter is we’re not seeing the same early signs of extraordinary revenue that we did over the past two years. So it is looking like things are going to normalize,” said Steeves.

Total revenues were $38 million higher than third-quarter projections while expenses were $112 million lower.

New Brunswick’s net debt was $12.4 billion as of March 31, a decrease of $359.2 compared to the previous year. The net debt-to-GDP ratio decreased to 26.8 per cent from 30.0 per cent.

The province’s net debt now includes $422 million in estimated asset retirement costs due to the adoption of a new accounting standard.

“While the surplus does not represent cash on hand, it reduces deficits accumulated in previous years when operations were financed through borrowings, provides for added financial flexibility on a go-forward basis, and informs the discussion on future tax and spending decisions,” said Steeves.

The 2022-23 consolidated financial statements are available online.