April 23, 2008 / 6:44 PM / 9 years ago

Flaherty says Canada budget gap for 2008 unlikely

NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Wednesday that he does not expect Canada's economy to run a budget deficit in 2008.

"We are not facing a budget deficit, we have a balanced budget," Flaherty said at a business luncheon in New York.

Earlier this week, credit ratings agency DBRS said Canada could post a small budget deficit for this year in the order of 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of gross domestic product for the first time since 1996-97.

But Flaherty said Canada's economy is well positioned to withstand a deeper economic slowdown in the United States. Earlier on Wednesday, he said he expects the economy to grow in the area of 1.6 percent this year, slightly below a prior government estimate of 1.7 percent. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Gary Crosse)

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