News Release Archive

The province's latest Quarterly Financial Report has encouraging
signs of strong economic growth, said Finance Minister Bill
Gillis today. Dr. Gillis released the report showing revenue from
provincial income taxes was higher than expected, while payments
from the federal government have declined.

"The Nova Scotia economy continues to strengthen. That strength
is providing government with more revenue than we originally
counted on," said the minister. "More people are working, Nova
Scotians are spending more, and businesses in the province are
growing and showing increased profit."

For the calendar year 1996, retail sales grew by 6.9 per cent,
the second highest provincial growth rate in Canada. Building
permits increased in value by 11.2 per cent, another positive
sign of economic growth.

Both manufacturing shipments, with a growth of 3.4 per cent, and
foreign exports, with a growth of 4.1 per cent in 1996, outpaced
the Canadian performance. Over the past four years manufacturing
shipments have expanded by 18.7 per cent while foreign exports
have recorded a 35.6 per cent growth.

In 1997, business investment in Nova Scotia is expected to soar.
Earlier this week Statistics Canada forecast an 18.1 per cent
increase in capital spending in Nova Scotia for this year. The
expected $3.55 billion in capital investment dwarfs the previous
record $2.9 billion established in 1996.

"That is a tremendous vote of confidence in Nova Scotia's
economic future. Business investment in machinery and equipment
is the foundation of growth and job creation." said the minister.
"It is doubly encouraging because the investments are not
confined to any one sector, but will be seen across the economy."

The latest Quarterly Report also shows a continued reduction in
debt servicing charges, offset by a small increase in program
spending. The result of these modest changes is expected to be a
total budget surplus of just over one million for fiscal 1996-97.
It will be the first surplus any government in Nova Scotia has
record in more than 25 years.

A copy of the latest Report is available at the Government
Bookstore, Halifax, by calling 902-424-7580 or 1-800-526-6575,
and at the Department of Finance Website:


NOTE TO EDITORS: The minister will be available for comments
following the news conference on infrastructure.

Contact: Bruce Cameron  902-424-8787

trp                     Feb. 28, 1997 - 9 a.m.