Finance Minister Jim Flaherty updates the nation today on the state of the economy.

Flaherty delivers his fall economic and fiscal update in a speech at 1 p.m. (noon ET) in Fredericton.

Despite the U.S. election now being settled and Greece almost on track to emerge from financial crisis, it is expected the finance minister will again highlight the uncertainty in the global economy and the economic drag that it is causing in Canada.

Wach Flaherty's statement live will carry Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's fall economic statement live at 12 noon ET.

Softening commodity prices are also pulling down government revenues, which will put a strain on the government's deficit-reduction time frame.

At the end of October, a survey of private sector economists predicted Canada's economy will grow by just two per cent next year, 0.4 percentage points lower than was presumed in the last budget.

According to the Finance department's own figures, that is likely to add about $1.5-billion to the expected deficit next year — although Flaherty insists he is on track to balance the budget in the medium-term.


Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has lowered his economic outlook for 2013 by 0.4 percentage points since March, but now forecasts higher growth in the following years. (CBC)

In the budget, Flaherty had pencilled in a $21.1-billion shortfall this fiscal year, followed by deficits of $10.2 billion and $1.3 billion in the subsequent two years. The 2015-16 fiscal year would see a surplus for the first time in almost a decade.

He is expected to say the federal government is doing all it can to control the things it can — namely, government and program spending — while keeping a close eye on the things which it cannot: Europe's debt crisis and the looming "fiscal cliff" in the United States.

The fiscal cliff is a series of tax hikes and spending cuts totalling $600 billion that will come into effect automatically in the United States Jan. 1, unless U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress reach an alternate agreement.

Economists fear those measures could plunge the country into another recession, and drag down Canada along with it.

The House of Commons is currently studying elements of Flaherty's second budget implementation bill and is expected to vote on the bill before MPs break for their Christmas vacation in mid-December.

with files from The Canadian Press