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NSW government announces $1.2 billion surplus after forecasts exceeded

The NSW Generations Fund was created in 2018 as the state’s first debt retirement fund. The fund’s balance had grown to $10.8 billion as of June 30.

The report attributed the improved budget surplus to “marginally higher revenues than forecast across a number of sources including taxation, sales of goods and services and dividends and distributions”.

The result comes after credit rating agencies S&P Global and Moody’s reaffirmed NSW’s triple-A credit rating in September. NSW and Victoria are the only Australian states to have a triple-A rating.

The June budget forecast a record $93 billion would be spent on infrastructure over the next four years. But it also forecast net debt to hit almost $39 billion over the same time as a result of a softening housing market, which contributed to a $10.6 billion write-down in stamp duty receipts since 2017.

Mr Perrottet said the pipeline of infrastructure projects was adding about half a percentage point to the state’s economic growth and “helping employ tens of thousands of people across the state”.

According to the Total State Sector Accounts report, government sector net debt was $10.4 billion at the end of the financial year.

The report stated that NSW’s run of “impressive growth” eased in 2018-19, “driven by softer household income growth, the drought and an easing in the housing market”.

“Growth in the global and national economies has also slowed over the last year, providing a less supportive backdrop for the NSW economy than expected at the time of the 2018-19 budget,” the report said.

But it found these economic headwinds would likely be offset by solid labour market conditions, the government’s record infrastructure program, rising commercial building activity and a solid export sector.

The report forecast the state’s growth to remain in line with the current trend in 2019-20 before returning to a growth rate of 2.5 per cent in 2020-21.

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