The federal government’s budget for 2023 will be released on March 28, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Friday.
Freeland has been conducting pre-budget consultations since late last year. On Thursday, she met with chief economists from major Canadian financial institutions to discuss the economic outlook and government supports.
According to a readout from her office, Freeland reaffirmed the government’s commitment to “prudent fiscal management.”
The announcement comes after Freeland said in the fall economic statement in November 2022 that the government would “keep its powder dry” and reserve major spending items for the budget in the spring.
Inflation has shown signs of cooling this year due to the Bank of Canada’s aggressive hikes of its policy interest rate. For the first time since it began raising lending rates last March, the Bank of Canada held its rate at 4.5 per cent on March. Canada’s annual inflation rate has cooled from highs of 8.1 per cent in mid-2022 to 5.9 per cent as of January.
Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate held steady in February, Statistics Canada said Friday, with employment “little changed.”
The agency said employers added 22,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0 per cent, remaining just above record lows.