2013 Ontario Budget
Chapter II: Ontario's Economic Outlook and Fiscal Plan


Ontario's Economy

  • Government-projected 2013 real GDP growth — 1.5 per cent.
  • Private-sector average projected 2013 real GDP growth — 1.6 per cent.
  • Government-projected 2014 real GDP growth — 2.3 per cent.
  • Net new jobs in Ontario since October 2003: 607,700.
  • Net new jobs in Ontario since recessionary low in June 2009: 398,100.

Ontario's Finances

  • 2012–13 deficit — $9.8 billion, or 1.5 per cent of GDP — $5.0 billion lower than forecast in the 2012 Budget.
  • Action taken by the government has allowed Ontario to report deficits lower than forecast for the fourth year in a row.
  • The accumulated deficit is now almost $22 billion lower (or 3.2 per cent of GDP) than it would have been had the government not taken measures to be ahead of its fiscal targets in each of the last four years.
  • 2012–13 program spending growth is projected to be less than 1 per cent for the second year in a row.
  • 2013–14 deficit is more than $1.0 billion lower than projected in last year's budget and program spending is unchanged from the 2012 Budget Plan.

Section A: Overview

TABLE 2.1 2013 Budget — Numbers at a Glance
Ontario's Economy: Provincial Finances:
Projected Real GDP Growth, 2013 1.5% 2013–14 Deficit Projection $11.7 billion
Avg. Private-Sector Growth, 2013 1.6% 2013–14 Revenue Plan $116.8 billion
Projected Real GDP Growth, 2014 2.3% 2013–14 Expense Plan $127.6 billion
Jobs since June 2009 398,100 2013–14 Reserve $1.0 billion
Jobs since October 2003 607,700 Deficit-to-GDP Ratio (2012–13) 1.5%
Increase in Real GDP
(2012 above 2003)1
13.0% Accumulated Deficit-to-GDP Ratio (2003–04) 24.6%
Increase in Real Personal Disposable Income
(2012 above 2003)1
25.3% Accumulated Deficit-to-GDP Ratio (2012–13) 25.0%
1 2012 real GDP and real household disposable income are Ontario Ministry of Finance estimates.

Eliminating the deficit is the single most important thing the government can do to secure Ontario's prosperity. The Ontario government is moving forward with its plan to create jobs, strengthen the economy, and build stronger communities and a fair society across Ontario.  

Ontario has created almost 400,000 jobs since June 2009, recovering all the jobs lost during the recession. The pace of job creation in Ontario since June 2009 is ahead of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average and that of the United States. Ontario's strong economic fundamentals, as well as government actions, have helped its economy recover from the global recession.

The deficit for 2012–13 is now estimated to be $9.8  billion — a $5.0 billion improvement compared with the 2012 Budget forecast. The fiscal year just ended marks the fourth year in a row that the Province has reported a deficit lower than forecast. Ontario is currently the only government in Canada that is projecting to be ahead of its fiscal targets four years in a row. In addition, it is one of only two governments in Canada that is on track to beat its fiscal target for 2012–13.

The Ontario government is committed to eliminating the deficit by 2017–18 in a way that is both fiscally responsible and fair, while strengthening the economy and building a more prosperous and fair Ontario. In addition to beating the deficit target for 2012–13, the Province is projecting an improvement of over $1.0 billion from the $12.8 billion deficit projected in the 2012 Budget for 2013–14. Achieving this forecast would represent the fifth year in a row the Province has exceeded its fiscal targets. Beyond 2013–14, the government is on track to meet the steadily declining deficit targets outlined in the 2012 Budget and achieve a $0.5 billion surplus in 2017–18.