Australian cash deficit reaches lowest level in decade



Australia's cash deficit has reached the lowest level in a decade, the government has announced.

The Final Budget Outcome for the 2017-18 financial year, released on Tuesday, revealed that the deficit was 19.3 billion Australian dollars (13.9 billion U.S. dollars), better than estimated when the Federal Budget for 2017-18 was handed down.

The total deficit was 10.1 billion Australian dollars (7.3 billion U.S. dollars), or 0.6 percent of GDP, the smallest it has been in 10 years.

"The Australian economy has completed its 27th consecutive year of growth," Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said in a joint media release on Tuesday.

"With more than one million jobs having been created since the Coalition Government was first elected in 2013, today's outcome reflects the record number of people in jobs and an economy in which businesses are growing."

The lower-than-forecast deficit was driven by total tax receipts being 13.4 billion Australian dollars (9.7 billion U.S. dollars) higher than expected at the time of the budget.

"Almost 350,000 jobs were created in 2017-18, with employment growing by 2.7 percent through the year to the June quarter 2018, well above the 1.5 percent growth forecast in the 2017-18 Budget," Frydenberg and Cormann said.

"Nominal GDP grew by 4.7 percent in 2017-18, which was significantly stronger than the 2017-18 Budget forecast of 4 percent."

Data released by Frydenberg earlier in September revealed that the economy grew 3.4 percent in 2017-18, the fastest growth since the peak of the mining boom in 2012.