Finance Minister Mike de Jong
VICTORIA — Finance Minister Mike de Jong says British Columbia is firmly in the black with a budget surplus of $1.6 billion, significantly higher compared to a forecast of $184 million.
De Jong announced the $1.5-billion increase in the surplus as he released the government's public accounts numbers for the fiscal year that ended in March.
He says the surplus is due largely to revenues of $1.3 billion more than the estimate in the February 2014 budget.
De Jong says B.C.'s budget numbers are the best in the country, but warned it's possible that Canada could slip into recession after fiscal problems in Europe and China.
But he says the surplus gives the province room for modest family-supporting initiatives without increasing the debt.
De Jong says B.C.'s economy grew 2.6 per cent, which is slightly better than the national average of 2.4 per cent, and this year's budget is currently on target to be balanced.