Government books show $261 million surplus

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The latest Crown financial statements released on January 16, 2019 show the Government’s books are in good order, Finance Minister Grant Robertson has said.

He issued the following Statement.

The Treasury has published the Crown accounts for the five months ended November 30, 2018, showing a surplus of $261 million over the five months. Expenses, revenue and net debt were all close to forecast.

It is important that we manage the books well so we can continue making the investments New Zealand needs, while ensuring we are well-placed to face the increasing risks from the international economy.

Varying situations

The Crown financial statements are updated each month, and results can differ slightly from forecasts due to timing issues.

For example, core Crown expenses in the five months to November were 1.1% below forecast, mainly due to the timing around the spending of some appropriations being transferred to the new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. This is expected to reverse out in coming months.

Encouraging trends

Core Crown tax revenue was within 0.4% of the Treasury’s forecast.

Stronger-than-expected wage growth saw source deductions 0.8% above forecast. Corporate tax was 2.8% below forecast due to timing issues which are expected to reverse out over the year.

Corporate tax receipts were up 8.1% from a year ago, due to the stronger underlying business fundamentals in the economy.

Core Crown net debt was close to forecast at 21.3% of GDP at November 30, 2018. This is down from 23.0% of GDP in November 2017.

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Picture of Grant Robertson from file

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