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Source: New Zealand Government

The latest update shows the Government’s books are again in better shape than forecast, meaning New Zealand is still in a strong position to respond to any COVID-19 resurgence.

The Crown Accounts for the six months to the end of December were better than forecast in the Half-year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU).

The Operating Balance before Gains and Losses (OBEGAL) deficit at $4.0 billion was $1.1 billion better than forecast in HYEFU.

“This was partly due to tax revenue coming in $0.8 billion above forecast, with GST revenue $0.6 billion (5.5%) above forecast as domestic spending continued to be better than expected at HYEFU,” Grant Robertson said.

“PAYE revenue was also $500 million above forecast reflecting the strong labour market.”

Core Crown expenses were $52.3 billion, $0.4 billion below the HYEFU forecast.

Net core crown debt was 32.6% of GDP, $1.5 billion less than forecast.

“The Government’s support for New Zealand’s businesses and workers through the COVID-19 pandemic has helped the economy get back on its feet quickly.

“While the economy is in better shape than had been predicted we are still very aware that there is a global pandemic. We will continue our balanced approach to managing the economy, giving room to provide support to protect New Zealanders from COVID-19 and its impact, while also providing support to those who need it the most,” Grant Robertson said.