Wellington: New Zealand Finance Minister Grant Robertson on Tuesday said that moderation in economic activity is being reflected in the government’s books, while the country is facing challenges ahead, including the cost of living, the impact of recent extreme weather and the uncertain global economy.
For the nine months to the end of March, core Crown tax revenue was NZ$2.3 billion ($1.46 billion) below forecast, partly offset by core Crown expenses being NZ$700 million below forecast, Xinhua news agency quoted Robertson as saying.
Overall, the Operating Balance before Gains and Losses (OBEGAL) recorded a deficit of NZ$3.4 billion.
That was NZ$2.5 billion higher than forecast at December’s Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update, and NZ$4.7 billion lower than that for the same period a year ago, he said.
Net debt was 19.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), below the forecast of 20.4 per cent of GDP and well below the government’s debt ceiling of 30 per cent, he added.
The Treasury has estimated the cost of asset damage from the floods and Cyclone Gabrielle in the first two months of 2023 at between NZ$9 billion and NZ$14.5 billion, with half of that related to infrastructure owned by central or local government such as roads.