British Columbia's budget deficit has come in almost $3 billion lower than was forecast for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Finance Minister Selina Robinson says the final numbers show a deficit of $5.46 billion compared to the original forecast of almost $8.2 billion.
She says the strength of B.C.'s economy helped keep the province's finances on stable ground.
Robinson says she expects to lay out a plan in next year's budget that outlines how the province will return to future surpluses.
She says the public accounts show B.C. spent more than $10 billion on COVID-19 response and recovery programs, which included funding for health and shelter as well as economic supports and benefits.
Robinson says the accounts show B.C.'s economy declined by 3.8 per cent, which was less than Canada's national average of 5.3 per cent.