The government’s finances are in much better shape than expected with strong domestic spending propping up the tax take.
Official figures show a deficit of $3.98 billion for the six months ended December, 33 percent lower than forecast.
The strength of consumer spending lifted GST revenue by 5 percent, while income tax revenue was ahead of forecast because of the stronger labour market.
The total tax take was $45.3b, up 1.9 percent on forecast, while government expenses were $53.3b, slightly lower than forecast.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the government was in a financial position to cope with any resurgence of Covid-19.
“We will continue our balanced approach to managing the economy, giving room to provide support to protect New Zealanders from Covid-19 and its impact, while also providing support to those who need it the most.”
Government net debt was $104.5b, 32.6 percent of the value of the economy.
Forecasts in the half year update have net debt hitting nearly 40 percent of GDP and the budget deficit reaching $21.6b.