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Local Authorities Maintain Positive Operating Bal

Local Authority Statistics: September 2000 quarter

Local Authorities Maintain Positive Operating Balance

Local authorities generated a surplus of $89.6 million from non-trading activities for the September 2000 quarter, Statistics New Zealand's latest Quarterly Local Authority Survey shows. This represents a decrease of $12.7 million on the surplus for the previous quarter. However, the latest quarterly surplus remains at historically high levels, compared with the range of quarterly operating results recorded by the series since its inception in 1992.

Operating revenue fell 3.1 per cent to $929.1 million in the September 2000 quarter and operating expenditure fell 1.9 per cent to $839.5 million.

The decrease in operating revenue was due to a second consecutive quarterly fall in investment income, down $32.2 million, from the June 2000 quarter, to $52.4 million. Although revenue from interest was up slightly, revenue from dividends fell to the lowest level since the September 1999 quarter.

The decrease in investment income was only partly offset by increased revenue from rates, petrol tax, licence fees and fines, up $5.5 million, or 0.9 per cent. Income from government grants and subsidies, at $100.9 million in the September 2000 quarter remained at a high level.

During the September 2000 quarter, interest paid by the 86 local authorities rose by $2.4 million. However, purchases of goods and services and depreciation fell by $15.9 million and $4.1 million respectively.

In recent quarters, purchases of goods and services have fallen from the highs recorded during 1997 and 1998. Depreciation has been gradually decreasing since peaking in the June 1999 quarter at $207.6 million.


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