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Ottawa to release fall economic update Nov. 21

Last Updated Oct 25, 2018 at 3:21 pm EDT

Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The federal government will release its fall economic and fiscal update on Nov. 21.

In making the announcement today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told the House of Commons the economy is still on a roll and the unemployment rate is hovering near four-decade lows.

Morneau will use this year’s fall update to announce the Liberals’ plan to bolster competitiveness and ease concerns that Canada has lost some of its edges as a business investment destination.

Corporate Canada and, more recently, a Senate committee has been pressing Morneau to slash business taxes to keep the country from falling behind after a major tax and regulatory reforms in the United States.

But sources with knowledge of the government’s plan have say Morneau is looking at targeted measures to address competitiveness issues, rather than broad-based corporate tax cuts.

The fall update will also contain fresh projections on economic indicators and on the path of the federal books, which posted a $19-billion deficit last year.

In this year’s federal budget, Morneau projected a shortfall of $18.1 billion for 2018-19, annual deficits set to shrink each year to $12.3 billion in 2022-23. The projections, which are similar to those the government posted in October, include annual $3-billion cushions to offset risks.

In the U.S., the government has been forced to borrow more cash — and run deeper deficits — in order to cover President Donald Trump’s tax cuts.