12/08/2014 02:25 EST | Updated 02/07/2015 05:59 EST

Fiscal update on hold until oil prices settle: Newfoundland and Labrador premier

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador's premier says he'll wait for oil prices to settle down before offering a much anticipated fall update on the province's finances.

Paul Davis says the fluctuating price of Brent crude makes it tough to offer a clear fiscal picture.

What appears certain is that an already forecast $538-million deficit this year will grow.

The province anchored its budget last spring on an average oil price of US$105 per barrel but it's now trading for almost $40 less.

Finance Minister Ross Wiseman has said it costs the treasury about $30 million for each dollar the average price falls short of projections.

Last month, Davis announced a freeze on discretionary spending and all but the most critical new government hiring.