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HomeEconomyAustralia's budget surplus set to be nearly five times bigger than forecast

Australia's budget surplus set to be nearly five times bigger than forecast


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Treasurer Jim Chalmers said on Monday that the country’s first budget surplus in years will be bigger than initially forecast.

Chalmers said the budget surplus for the just past financial year was likely to be just over billion AUD, well above the A$4.2 billion projected in the May budget first tagged last month.

“Current expectations, officials believe the 2022-2022 surplus will be around $20 billion, or more likely above that figure, Chalmers told a news conference in Canberra.

The final figures, to be released in a matter of weeks, mark a stunning turnaround from forecasts for a billion-dollar deficit published in weeks due to low unemployment, rising wages and tax increases from record commodity exports.

Surplus will be Short-lived, a deficit is expected for the current financial year, followed by higher interest charges and disability care, health and defense spending.

Chalmers reiterated forecasts for slower economic growth this year. He said Australia was closely monitoring weaker economic data from its largest trading partner China, but did not lower its own growth forecast.

“We need to be realistic about the consequences and impact of higher interest rates on our economy and the global uncertainty we all face. China is part of the story,” he said.

Chalmers also announced that Chris Barrett will lead the Australian Productivity Commission, an independent research and advisory body. Barrett is ambassador to the OECD and, like Chalmers, was chief of staff to former treasurer Wayne Swan.

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