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B.C. Finance Minister forecasts budget surplus decline, but stable economic growth

VICTORIA — Finance Minister Mike de Jong says British Columbia's projected budget surplus continues to dip, but economic growth forecasts remain stable amid declines in neighbouring provinces and overseas.

B.C.'s budget surplus was forecast at $284 last February, but now it's projected to be $265 million, down $19 million.

De Jong provided an accounting of the provincial finances before meeting later this month with independent economic forecasters ahead of his budget presentation in February.

He says B.C.'s economic growth is forecast at two per cent this year and 2.4 per cent in 2016, slightly ahead of Canada's growth projections of two per cent next year.

The minister says B.C.'s strong housing market continues to contribute to government tax coffers and is driving increases in government revenues, as are rising retail sales of more than seven per cent.

He says natural resource revenues are down by $85 million and the government is concerned about economic downturns in Asia, especially Japan.

The Canadian Press

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