Spending choices, not a drop in oil prices, spurred Alberta’s chronic deficits

Avoiding deficits during an oil boom should be a relatively straightforward proposition for governments in oil-rich jurisdictions. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case in Alberta.A recent Fraser Institute study compared how Alberta and fellow oil-producing jurisdiction Texas managed their public finances in recent years. The study shows that both jurisdictions enjoyed a prolonged period that can generally be characterized as an economic boom from 2004 to 2014 with economic growth rates significantly exceeding their respective national averages.Despite this robust growth and high energy prices in most years, Alberta still proved unable to consistently balance its budget in the later years

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