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Canada's Quebec forecasts C$1.4 bln budgetary surplus for fiscal 2019-2020

Quebec posted a higher-than-expected budget surplus for the fiscal year ended March 2019, helped by strong economic growth in Canada's largest province by area, its finance minister said on Thursday in an update that also projected a surplus for the current fiscal year.

By Allison Lampert

QUEBEC CITY, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Quebec posted a higher-than-expected budget surplus for the fiscal year ended March 2019, helped by strong economic growth in Canada's largest province by area, its finance minister said on Thursday in an update that also projected a surplus for the current fiscal year.

Quebec's government forecast a budgetary surplus of C$1.4 billion ($1.06 billion) for fiscal 2019-20, Finance Minister Eric Girard said, adding that economic growth was expected to be 2.4% in 2019, up from 1.8% in a previous estimate.

The government posted a budget surplus of C$4.8 billion for fiscal year 2018-2019 compared with its previous estimate of C$2.5 billion.

"The economic performance of Quebec is remarkable," Girard told reporters in Quebec City, but cautioned that growth would slow through 2020.

In a sign of improved fiscal discipline, Canada's second most-populous province behind Ontario said it would achieve its target of reducing the gross debt burden to 45% of GDP at March 31, 2020, six years ahead of schedule.

Quebec's center-right CAQ government, which formed a majority government last year, has committed to delivering four additional fiscal years of balanced budgets.

($1 = 1.3176 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting By Allison Lampert Editing by Chris Reese and Sonya Hepinstall)

((Allison.Lampert@thomsonreuters.com; 514-796-4212; Reuters Messaging: allison.lampert.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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