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Ottawa, Aug 14 (Canadian-Media): 2017-18 First Quarter Finances released yesterday by Ontario government confirmed Ontario’s budget to be on track to balance the budget this year, with total revenue of $141.8 billion, up $145 million from the 2017 Budget, a news release report said.
Ontario would be able to invest, continued the release, in the programs and services needed most by the people and families including better health care, opening of new hospitals and free prescription medications for everyone under 25 through OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.
Approximately 100,000 more kids will have access to high quality, licensed child care, the release continued, and seniors can stay active and engaged in their communities, with access to new and improved facilities.
“Supporting ongoing economic growth is a top priority for our government. We are encouraged by the influx of many innovative and dynamic businesses that are investing across the province, bringing good jobs, higher wages and greater prosperity to our communities. We will continue to implement our balanced plan to build a healthy and sustainable economy for all of Ontario,” Charles Sousa, Ontario Minister of Finance was quoted by the release.
Ontario’s real gross domestic product (GDP), reported by Statistics Canada increased 1percent in the first quarter (January, February, March) of 2017 -- with solid growth in business investment and consumer spending, following a 0.5 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Based on production by industry, reported Statistics Canada, Ontario real GDP expanded 1.3% in the first quarter, following a gain of 0.3% in the previous quarter. Both the goods (+1.7%) and service (+1.2%) industries contributed to first quarter growth.
Ontario’s net debt-to-GDP ratio for the year is reportedly projected to be 37.5 percent, unchanged from the 2017 Budget forecast.
Ontario's real GDP growth of one percent in the first quarter of 2017, outperformed that of Canada, the United States and all other G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) which are seven major advanced economies as reported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Created in 1945, said official reports, IMF is governed by and accountable to the 189 countries to foster cooperation between global monetary fund in securing financial stability to facilitate international trade and reduce poverty around the world.
Ontario’s employment reportedly advanced by 3,700 in the second quarter of 2017, following a gain of 36,400 in the first quarter.
As of July 2017, Ontario’s unemployment rate is reported to be 6.1 percent and has been below the national average for 28 consecutive months.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)