Govt accounts in strong position to weather global uncertainty

The Government’s financial position remains strong in the face of a global downturn, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

The Treasury has released the Crown’s financial results for the eight months to February, showing a $2.3 billion OBEGAL surplus, $347 million ahead of forecast.

The accounts show spending is stable, highlighting the Government’s careful fiscal management, with core Crown expenses below forecast.

The Government will continue to keep a careful watch on spending, while making the important investments in our economy and society.

Net debt is largely in line with the previous year, but as GDP has increased, net debt as a percentage of GDP has fallen from 21.2% to 20.4%.

“New Zealand is performing well in the global context, with GDP for the December quarter at 0.6%, higher than the OECD average at 0.3% and Australia at 0.2%.

“The economy is well placed to weather uncertainty over Brexit and fears of a global downturn driven by the slowing growth in China and the US.

“The 2019 Budget will lay out the way forward for this Government’s plan to increase New Zealanders’ wellbeing through making the investments needed to address long-term challenges while continuing to manage the books in a prudent and fiscally responsible way.“ Grant Robertson said.