11 Mar 2015

Government finances better than forecast

5:15 pm on 11 March 2015

The Finance Minister is not confident that the Government will record a surplus this financial year, despite being in surplus for the seven months to the end of January.

The Government has recorded a $77 million surplus during that time, much better than it had forecast in December.

The Treasury said the surplus, excluding investment gains and losses, compared with a forecast deficit of $635 million dollars.

Tax income for the seven months was $456 million higher than forecast in December and government spending was $249 million lower.

But the Treasury warned the operating balance fluctuates from month to month, and Bill English feared it could be too good to last.

"The officials advice is that that will drop off afterwards, but it's a nice little milestone along the way, to actually record a surplus.

"The question now is whether it stays a surplus: usually it tails off a bit from January."