Ontario Finance Minister, Rod Phillips, has released the province’s first quarter finances for 2020-21.
The government is now projecting a deficit of $38.5 billion in 2020-21, which incorporates the most up to date economic information and additional supports for the pandemic recovery period and the safe restart framework. Private-sector forecasts, on average, project that Ontario’s real GDP will decline by 6.6 per cent in 2020, down significantly from when the March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update was finalized. Total revenue is projected to be $150.6 billion in 2020-21, $5.7 billion lower and program expenses are projected to be $13.1 billion higher than forecast in the March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update.
The province says, while no economic downturn is the same as the last, it took between 24 and 88 months to return to pre-recession peak employment across the last three recessions. However, as Ontario gradually reopens, following the plan outlined in A Framework to Reopen Our Province, there have been recent signs of economic recovery. In June and July, Ontario’s unemployment rate decreased to 11.3 per cent.