Government accounts show smaller-than-expected deficit for first four months of year

The operating balance before gains and losses was a deficit of $131 million in the four months ended October 31, compared with a deficit of about $1.1 billion forecast in the May budget.

The New Zealand government's accounts recorded a smaller-than-forecast deficit in the first four months of the fiscal year on a higher-than-expected inflow of corporate and goods and services tax.

The operating balance before gains and losses was a deficit of $131 million in the four months ended October 31, compared with a deficit of about $1.1 billion forecast in the May budget. That was largely due to core Crown revenue being 3.3% above forecast at $25.4 billion. Corporate tax revenue was $300 million, or 10%, above forecast while GST was $275 million, or 4.5% above the Treasury's estimate.

The increase in the corporate tax take mainly reflected variances in provisional tax and PIE tax, which indicate that corporate profits are higher than expected, the Treasury said. By contrast, core Crown expenses were close to forecast at $25.3 billion, with variances including $184 million of Treaty settlements forecast but not yet signed off.

Net debt was $62.5 billion, or 24.8% of gross domestic product, compared with a forecast of $64.3 billion, or 25.5% of GDP.

As at October 31, total Crown assets were valued at $291 billion and liabilities at $192.9 billion, leaving the Crown's share of net worth at $92.3 billion. The operating balance was about $3 billion, compared to a forecast deficit of $227 million, the Treasury said.

(BusinessDesk)

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