Martin to report on Canada’s economic pulse today

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OTTAWA, Ont. — Finance Minister Paul Martin is currently preparing to deliver a key economic update later today; one that is expected to include details of a record surplus of at least $15 billion.

While no new spending or tax cuts are planned, Martin says the money will go towards paying down the national debt.

Business had called on Martin to keep a lid on spending in case the economic downturn south of the border moves north.

Despite the slowdown that spilled over from the U.S. late last year, Prime Minister Jean Chretien jumped the announcement May 15 during question period when he suddenly blurted out the record surplus.

Some private-sector economists have suggested the figure could be even bigger, given Martin’s tendency to control expectations by low-balling his figures.

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