12/14/2011 02:21 EST | Updated 02/13/2012 05:12 EST

Prince Edward Island sinks deeper into the red in latest fiscal forecast

CHARLOTTETOWN - Prince Edward Island is forecasting a larger deficit of $73.4 million for this fiscal year.

Finance Minister Wes Sheridan is partly blaming the global economic downturn for the province's worsening fiscal situation.

In August, the government said it expected the deficit to come in at $42 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Sheridan says he still thinks the province can balance its books within the next three years.

He says the government is spending more than it expected this year on public service pensions, support for the province's primary industries, and on social services.

In 2010-11, P.E.I. had a deficit of $52.5 million.