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Source: New Zealand Government

The Government’s books are in a strong position to withstand global headwinds, with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the six months to December.

The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.5 billion resulting in a surplus of $400 million.

Net core Crown debt remains low, coming in slightly below forecast at 21% and expenses were $0.1 billion lower than forecast.

“At the halfway point of the year the books are in good shape. There is normally movement in these numbers across monthly accounts, but that will be exacerbated in the second half of the year by the impact of coronavirus,” Grant Robertson says.

“Agencies are currently assessing the potential economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and while that work is not yet completed it is clear that there will be some impact on the New Zealand economy.

“The Government’s careful management of the accounts puts us in a good position to withstand those economic challenges as we have in the face of recent slowing global growth.

“New Zealand’s economy continues to outperform its peers with growth above the OECD average, the UK, Canada, Japan and Australia,” Grant Robertson says.

“The announcement of last month’s New Zealand Upgrade Programme brought forward a package of infrastructure projects which will provide further support for the economy.”