NZ govt accounts show operating deficit in Sept qtr

NZ govt accounts show operating deficit in Sept qtr

Treasury has released the New Zealand Government's accounts for the first three months of the 2008/09 financial year, which show the government falling into an operating deficit of NZ$757 million from a forecast of a NZ$943 million surplus. The main reason for the loss was a NZ$1.1 billion 'mark to market' loss by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which had its worst month ever in September with a 7.96% loss. Tax revenues were actually slightly better than forecast. Direct taxes were NZ$164 million better than forecast at NZ$9.964 billion for the first three months, due largely to income taxes being NZ$238 million higher than forecast. This helped offset lower than expected corporate tax revenues.

GST was NZ$153 million higher than expected at NZ$5.456 billion. Resident withholding tax on interest payments was also strong at NZ$703 million, up from a NZ$689 million forecast and up 19.8% from a year ago as interest rates were slightly higher than a year ago and savings grew. The OBEGAL (Operating Balance excluding gains and losses) was actually NZ$500 million greater than forecast at NZ$0.9 billion, largely due to higher than expected tax revenues and spending being marginally lower than expected at NZ$15.066 billion.

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