Fiscal Outcomes Ahead Of December Forecasts

  • Bill English

Half-year Crown Financial Statement results tabled in Parliament today are tracking ahead of Treasury's December 1998 Economic and Fiscal Update forecasts, Treasurer Bill Birch and Finance Minister Bill English said today. They said the financial statements show a net surplus of $1,173 million for the six months to 31 December 1998, $132 million ahead of forecast. "Net worth rose to $11,377 million as at 31 December 1998, an improvement of $1,456 million since June 1998. That is before recognising the outstanding Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation claims liability of around $7 billion. "Net Crown debt is $25,021 million, $18 million lower than forecast," they said.

"The December Update forecast a full-year operating deficit for 1998-99 of $52 million, but recent economic indicators are more positive than the central scenario forecast in the 1998 DEFU.

"As a result, a fiscal surplus on the full year is now becoming increasingly likely," they said.

"The Government's economic policy framework, and its careful management of taxpayers' money in the face of the biggest international shock for decades, helped the economy to make a rapid constructive adjustment.

"New Zealanders are already seeing the benefit in a quick bounce back to growth, more investment and more jobs," the Ministers said.