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Crown surplus $1.5b ahead of forecast

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/06/2017

The government accounts are about $1.5 billion better off than was forecast in the budget, according to latest Treasury figures.

But Finance Minister Steven Joyce says not too much should be read into the result and the figure will shrink next month.

The Crown financial statements, compared against the May 25 budget estimate, show tax revenue was 2 per cent, or $1.2b, higher than predicted for the 10 months to April 30.

Core Crown expenses were $391m lower than forecast, at $62.7b.

Those combined meant the government's surplus for the period was at $2.5b - $1.5b higher than forecast.

But Mr Joyce said the result was largely to do with the timing differences of companies declared taxes.

"Treasury and Inland Revenue expect most of that to reverse in May, and at this stage Treasury expects the 2016-17 accounts to be broadly as forecast," he said.

Those reversals were expected to be about $1b, he said.

"It is important not to take too much from a single month's figures."

But the figures overall did underline the government's " improving fiscal position", he said.

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