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Croatia sees no 2014 growth under new deficit cutting plan

EU's newest member Croatia on Thursday announced new measures to bring its deficit target in line with Brussels demands but warned they could hamper already anaemic economic growth. Finance Minister Slavko Linic said the new measures, including higher taxes on petrol and telecoms, should cut the country's budget deficit by 0.4 percentage points to 4.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). But he warned that they could stifle growth, adding that Zagreb now expect the country's economy to stagnate again this year after cutting its previous 0.2 percent forecast.

Alberta on track for operational surplus, still faces capital spending deficit

EDMONTON - Alberta is on track to record a $1.4-billion surplus on day-to-day spending this year, but it will be $8.5 billion in the hole on the capital side due to borrowing for new schools and roads. Finance Minister Doug Horner had originally forecast a $451-million deficit on day-to-day operational spending, but he said Wednesday that higher-than-expected oil prices, along with a low Canadian dollar, have changed the economic outlook. "We're turning the corner," Horner told a legislature news conference as he delivered his third-quarter budget update for 2013-14.

Embattled Indian govt defends record in pre-poll budget

India's embattled government said Monday it had lifted tens of millions of people out of poverty as it announced an interim budget ahead of elections that it is widely tipped to lose. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram trumpeted the Congress-led government's achievements during its decade in office, as he presented the budget to cover spending until the general elections due by May.

India finance minister unveils indirect tax cuts in pre-election budget

By Manoj Kumar NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Indian government announced a package of indirect tax cuts on Monday to breathe life into spending and investment, and trumpeted its record of growth and reform over the past decade in an interim budget before an election it looks set to lose. Amid uproar in parliament as lawmakers shouted him down, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also said he would contain the fiscal deficit for 2013/14 (April-March) at 4.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), below his target of 4.8 percent.

Puerto Rico to cut deficit, renegotiate debt

Puerto Rico said Wednesday it would further reduce its deficit and seek to renegotiate some of its debt, a day after seeing its credit rating cut to junk status. Responding to new pressure on its finances, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced he would reduce the US territory's fiscal deficit by $170 million, slashing agency budgets by two percent and renegotiating tariffs and contracts with vendors.

Budget surplus could be bigger than forecast in 2015, Flaherty tells CTV

OTTAWA - The federal budget surplus could be bigger than predicted in 2015, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in an interview aired Sunday. The assessment falls in line with projections from the parliamentary budget office that came a month ago. A Dec. 5 report from the PBO estimated the government could achieve a surplus of $4.6 billion by 2015, nearly $1 billion more than the estimate included in the November economic update.

Nova Scotia looking at budget deficit as Liberals revise fiscal forecast

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's deficit forecast will be at least $300 million higher than expected when Finance Minister Diana Whalen tables her first fiscal update Thursday. Whalen confirmed the bad news Wednesday, saying the added $300 million charge is the result of advice from auditor general Jacques Lapointe, who has told the new Liberal government it should account for the 2012-13 unfunded liability in the public service pension plan in this fiscal year.

India vows no pre-election handouts

India's embattled government said Wednesday it would stick to the "path of fiscal prudence" in the run-up to next year's elections, dismissing market worries of a slew of deficit-busting handouts to sway voters. The assurance by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram was his first response to a string of defeats for ruling Congress party's in recent state elections, including a rout in the capital New Delhi.

Rupee offers India budget relief as subsidy pressure eases

By Manoj Kumar NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A recovery in the rupee is giving India's Finance Minister P. Chidambaram rare relief in his battle against a threatened credit rating downgrade to junk status by reducing pressure on the government's subsidy bill. Still, the minister can only meet his fiscal deficit target of 4.8 percent of GDP by rolling over a substantial amount of subsidy spending into next year's budget and by finding big savings elsewhere, two senior finance ministry officials said.

New Brunswick deficit rises as revenue drops, auditor general gives debt warning

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick is forecasting a deficit of more than $538 million for 2013-14, a $59.6 million increase in the shortfall that was projected in the spring budget. Finance Minister Blaine Higgs blames lower than expected revenues for the size of the deficit in his second-quarter fiscal update released Thursday. The government is forecasting a $172.9 million drop in revenue compared to what it listed in the budget because of weaker results from Crown utility NB Power and a drop in tax revenue.
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