Total revenues are forecast to be $8.9 billion, down $11.1 million from budget Total expenses, and consolidation and accounting adjustments, are forecast to be $9.2 billion, $81.4 million lower than budget. Departmental spending is forecast to be $24.8 million under budget, which accounts for $23.1 million in additional appropriations. This includes funding for the $15-million investment in the recently announced woodlands plan. Gross debt servicing costs are forecast to drop by $49.6 million to $835.9 million. The first budget forecast update for 2011-12 shows Nova Scotia is running $70.4 million ahead of where the province expected to be, with a projected deficit of $319.2 million. “Today’s update includes the best information we have on revenues and expenditures,” said Finance Minister Graham Steele. “Last year’s surplus was not a true reflection of the province’s underlying financial situation and this update better reflects where we actually stand in the drive back to balance.” This forecast update does not include any revision in economic assumptions for the budget. “The global economic outlook has deteriorated and we must recognize the potential impact on our national and provincial economies,” said Mr. Steele. “Add the NewPage mill situation, and we may see more modest growth than previously anticipated. By the December forecast update, we will likely be in a better position to determine if our economic assumptions need to be revised.” Mr. Steele re-affirmed the government’s commitment to balance the budget in 2013-14. “This year’s forecast deficit is very close to where we expected to be at this point in our four-year plan. We are still on track to get back to balance in the spring of 2013,” he said.