New Zealand posts budget surplus for first time since 2008

AP News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2015 9:35 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's government has posted a budget surplus for the first time since 2008, fulfilling a financial target it set itself after borrowing billions of dollars to pay for the fallout from the global financial crisis and a devastating earthquake.

The slim surplus of 414 million New Zealand dollars ($275 million) in the year ending June represents just 0.2 percent of the nation's economy. Finance Minister Bill English says the plan is to pay down debt over time.

The center-right government in May had forecast a small deficit for the year, but took in more tax and spent less than projected.

The result was a big turnaround from four years earlier, when the government posted a deficit of NZ$18.4 billion following an earthquake in Christchurch that killed 185 people.