The impact of COVID-19 on this year’s budget may not be as bleak as previously forecasted.

In an announcement on Tuesday alongside Finance Minister Scott Fielding, Premier Brian Pallister says the deficit may actually end being about $2.9 billion for 2020-21. In March, the provincial government estimated the deficit for the current fiscal year could be as high as $5 billion.

The province also announced it will invest $2.1 billion to battle COVID-19 and help restart the economy.

Manitoba’s economy is expected to decline by approximately 5% this year, with an expected loss of revenues in the range of $1.5 billion.

Pallister and the Finance Minister stressed that Manitoba’s road to recovery will focus on continued investments in public health preparedness, as well as increased investment in jobs and growth.