Economic and Fiscal Outlook – March 2022

Abstract

This report provides a baseline projection to help parliamentarians gauge potential economic and fiscal outcomes under current policy settings.

Highlights

  • PBO projects growth in the Canadian economy to rebound sharply in the second quarter and remain robust in the second half of 2022 as the reopening of the economy continues.

  • Based on our outlook for inflation and the output gap, PBO projects that the Bank of Canada will increase its policy interest rate by a cumulative 75 basis points, lifting its rate to 1.00 per cent by the end of 2022.

  • PBO projects a budget deficit of $139.8 billion (5.6 per cent of GDP) in 2021-22 and $47.9 billion (1.8 per cent of GDP) in 2022-23. We project the federal debt-to-GDP ratio to peak at 47.7 per cent in 2021-22 and then gradually decline over the medium term to 42.3 per cent.

  • Due to low interest rates, the cost of servicing the federal debt reached its lowest recorded level in 2020-21 of 7.2 per cent of tax revenues. While interest rates are projected to rise, the debt service ratio will remain low, reaching 11.5 per cent of tax revenues over the medium term.

Quotes

Supplementary Data