Half Year Crown Financial Statements Released Today

  • Bill English

The Crown Financial Statements for the six months to December 1998 were released by the Treasury today.

The key results were as follows:

$million Forecast
Operating balance (surplus) 1,173 1,041
Net public debt 25,021 25,039
Crown balance (net worth) 11,377 10,957

The operating balance was in surplus by $1,173 million, $132 million (12.7%) ahead of forecast. The December financial statements are compared to forecasts based on the 1998 December Economic and Fiscal Update (DEFU).

This result was largely due to:

er-than-forecast taxation revenue of $91 million
Higher-than-forecast surpluses from State-owned enterprises and Crown entities of $60 million.
The improvement in taxation revenue, together with strength in tax receipts being $118 million ahead of forecast, suggests there is potential for the actual full year operating balance to be higher than that forecast in the DEFU. Net Crown debt was $25,021 million, 0.1% lower than forecast. The variance against forecast was largely due to:

Higher-than-forecast taxation receipts of $118 million
Higher-than-forecast issues of circulating currency of $257 million by the Reserve Bank, reflecting seasonal demand over the holiday period.
Cash disbursed to operations, higher than forecast by $273 million due to timing differences, largely offset those two factors.

Net Crown debt was 25.6% of GDP, consistent with forecast. The Crown balance was $11,377 million, $420 million higher than forecast. This improvement was largely due to:

An operating balance higher than forecast by $132 million
Asset revaluations of $288 million, which are not forecast as a matter of policy.
The improvement of $1,456 million in the Crown balance since 30 June 1998 reflects the year-to-date $1,173 million operating surplus, together with asset revaluations, which have occurred since 30 June 1998, of $283 million.