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Budget 2011 Home Page Budget Economic and Fiscal Update 2011

Government Finance Statistics for Central Government

Government Finance Statistics (GFS) is a fiscal reporting framework developed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is specifically designed for government reporting. The main purpose for having a common government reporting framework is to more easily enable cross-country comparisons of fiscal data and assessment of fiscal policy (e.g. as in the case of the IMF's Article IV consultation with New Zealand). It is important to note that even though the GFS framework provides a consistent presentation format there are still underlying measurement and recognition point differences that make it difficult to do cross- country comparisons. Further information on GFS can be found on the IMF's website:

The following section provides fiscal forecasts for central Government on a GFS basis, prepared by applying top-down adjustments to the Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP) accounts as a base and making the following adjustments:

Coverage  The Central Government entity is defined here as the consolidation of core Crown (excluding Reserve Bank) and Crown entities, as opposed to the emphasis on the total Crown in the Budget document.  As a result, the government's interest in the Reserve Bank and State-owned enterprises is equity accounted rather than consolidated line-by-line.
Other economic flows The GFS operating balance excludes valuation changes on assets and liabilities, which are instead reported in a Statement of Other Economic Flows.
Transactions Defence weapons are treated as being expensed at the time of purchase. In addition there are some reclassifications of transactions (e.g. some levies move to taxation revenue).

The GFS data presented in this section is experimental. Statistics New Zealand is workingtowards an official GFS series, which will also include local government. Table 18 outlinessome of the key indicators for the central government under a GFS presentation.

Table 18 - Summary indicators for central government


Net operating balance (3,461) (10,061) (5,405) (1,304) 2,105 4,035
Fiscal Balance (Net lending/borrowing) (5,367) (12,265) (7,092) (2,672) 560 2,726
Cash surplus/(deficit) (5,362) (12,465) (11,321) (5,858) (1,674) (72)
Net worth 93,955 84,518 77,225 75,875 78,167 82,754
Net financial worth (11,005) 636 9,616 12,334 11,587 8,309
Borrowing 43,998 63,640 69,928 70,286 79,275 75,923


Net operating balance (1.8) (5.0) (2.6) (0.6) 0.9 1.6
Fiscal Balance (Net lending/borrowing) (2.8) (6.1) (3.4) (1.2) 0.2 1.1
Cash surplus/(deficit) (2.8) (6.2) (5.4) (2.6) (0.7) (0.0)
Net worth 49.7 42.3 36.9 34.0 33.4 33.6
Net financial worth (5.8) 0.3 4.6 5.5 4.9 3.4
Borrowing 23.3 31.8 33.4 31.5 33.8 30.9

The following tables provide additional detail around the calculation of the key indicators.

  • Table 19 - Statement of Operations
    • records the results of all transactions during an accounting period.
  • Table 20 - Statement of Other Economic Flows
    • records changes to stocks of assets, liabilities and net worth that come about from sources other than transactions.
  • Table 21 - Statement of Sources and Uses of Cash
    • records cash inflow and outflows using classifications similar to the Statement of Operations.
  • Table 22 - Balance Sheet
    • records the stocks of assets, liabilities and net worth.
  • Table 23 - Statement of Stocks and Flows
    • shows how the operating balance is applied to capital investment and debt repayment at a component level.
  • Table 24 - Reconciliation between GAAP and GFS operating balance
    • records the adjustments between the GAAP and GFS operating balance.
  • Table 25 - Reconciliation between GAAP residual cash and GFS cash surplus/(deficit)
    • records the adjustments between the GAAP and GFS cash indicators.

The GFS manual (on IMF's website) should assist with definitions for some of the terminology used in this section.

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