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BC's $2.7B surplus

The B.C. government ended the last fiscal year with a surplus of $2.7 billion, largely in line with an unaudited financial picture released about two months ago by the province's former Liberal government.

Finance Minister Carole James released the 2016-17 public accounts, which also show a $3.4-billion increase in revenue over what was forecast and spending that was $1.3 billion higher than the budget had outlined.

Under the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, the surplus will be applied to the provincial operating debt.

The government collected $2.8 billion more than it expected in taxes, including $1.5 billion more than expected from personal income taxes.

The province's GDP grew by an estimated 3.7 per cent in 2016, and James says private-sector forecasts expect B.C. to be among the top provincial economic performers in 2017 and 2018.

The Liberals released an unaudited financial update in June that pegged the surplus at $2.8 billion.



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