Fergus Welsh, Acting Chief Government Accountant
The Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the six months ended 31 December 2013 were released by the Treasury today. These statements are compared against forecasts based on the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), released on 17 December 2013.
The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was in deficit by $1.8 billion, which was $380 million more than expected, mainly due to lower core Crown tax revenue across most tax types. At this stage, it is difficult to determine how much of the lower than forecast tax is temporary versus permanent but we expect this to become clearer over the next few months.
Following on the trend in recent months, continued strength in equity markets saw gains recorded on financial instruments of $3.1 billion, which was $1.8 billion ahead of forecast. As a result, the operating balance surplus was $1.6 billion higher than forecast at $3.2 billion.
Net debt was $392 million higher than forecast at $62.3 billion or 28.8% of GDP. This was primarily due to a higher than forecast residual cash deficit driven by lower than expected core Crown tax receipts and higher than expected operating payments.
At 31 December, total Crown assets were $248.0 billion and liabilities were $173.1 billion and the Crown’s net worth strengthened to $70.5 billion.
|Year to date||Full Year|
|Core Crown tax revenue||29,180||29,782||(602)||(2.0)||62,491|
|Core Crown revenue||32,097||32,677||(580)||(1.8)||68,493|
|Core Crown expenses||34,692||34,775||83||0.2||72,181|
|Core Crown residual cash||(7,270)||(6,618)||(653)||(9.9)||(4,076)|
|as a percentage of GDP||38.4%||38.7%||35.8%|
|as a percentage of GDP||28.8%||28.6%||26.3%|
|Operating balance before gains and losses||(1,788)||(1,408)||(380)||(27.0)||(2,320)|
|Net worth attributable to the Crown||70,451||69,083||1,368||2.0||69,165|
1 Using GDP for the year ended 30 September 2013 of $216,134 million (Source: Statistics New Zealand).
2 Using forecast GDP for the year ended 30 June 2014 of $227,793 million (Source: Treasury).
3 Gross sovereign-issued debt excluding settlement cash and Reserve Bank bills.
4 Net core Crown debt excluding student loans and other advances. Net debt may fluctuate during the year largely reflecting the timing of tax receipts.
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