While Canada’s fiscal outlook has brightened considerably in recent months, economists say taxpayers can still expect some long-term austerity measures in today’s federal budget.

That’s because Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has stuck to the Conservative government’s multi-year deficit reduction target, even though economic growth is expected to moderate starting in 2012.

Derek Burleton, TD Economics’ deputy chief economist, said Flaherty has his work cut out for him in meeting the aggressive timetable that forecasts a return to budget surplus by 2015.

“It’s not exactly clear how they are going to pull it off,” he said, adding today’s budget should offer details on discretionary spending constraints.