The Government's finances are in better shape than expected because of a stronger tax take.
Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance opens the book after the election. Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2017. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King;
Excluding investment gains and losses, the operating surplus stood at $2.4 billion for the seven months to January, some $700 million more than had been forecast.
The Treasury said stronger employment and household spending pushed up personal and sales tax revenue, while expenses came in slightly higher than expected.
The department expects the tax take at the end of the year will stay ahead of forecast.
The net debt level is also slightly lower than expected at $60.1bn.