Govt operating deficit grows as tax take misses target
The New Zealand government's operating deficit was wider than forecast in the first quarter of the financial year as the Crown took in less tax than expected in a subdued economy.
The operating balance before gains and losses (obegal) was a deficit of $2.1 billion in the three months ended September 30, $449 million, or 27% bigger than forecast.
Core Crown tax revenue was $13.5 billion, or 2.1% lower than expected, the Treasury says.
Source deductions and goods and services tax were $166 million apiece below forecast, reflecting lower-than-expected wage growth and private consumption.
Provisional tax was $103 million below forecast, it says.
Core Crown spending was 1.1% below forecast at $17.3 billion, with under-spending on welfare, education and finance costs. These were offset by higher-than-expected earthquake expenses.
The operating balance, including gains and losses, was a surplus of almost $100 million, or $1.2 billion better than expected, reflecting gains from the NZ Superannuation Fund and the Accident Compensation Corp's investment portfolios.
Gross debt amounted to $79.3 billion, or 38.8% of gross domestic product. Net debt was $54.9 billion, or 26.9% of GDP.