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Thursday, December 17

Local authorities' operating deficit narrows

Local authorities recorded a seasonally adjusted operating deficit of $69.9 million in the September 2009 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"The deficit this quarter is $30.9 million smaller than the June 2009 quarter deficit of $100.8 million," said government and international accounts manager John Morris.

Seasonally adjusted operating revenue increased $21.0 million to $1,678.7 million in the September 2009 quarter. The main contributions to the increase came from rates (up $27.9 million) and sales of goods and services (up $17.2 million). These upward contributions were partly offset by a fall in investment income (down $20.1 million), driven by a decrease in dividend revenue.

Seasonally adjusted operating expenditure decreased $9.8 million to $1,748.7 million in the September 2009 quarter.

"This quarter's decrease is the first fall in operating expenditure since a 1.0 percent fall in the December 2005 quarter," said Mr Morris.

The most significant contributions to the decrease in operating expenditure in the September 2009 quarter came from purchases of goods and services (down $9.7 million) and interest payments (down $1.8 million).

An increase in employee costs of $2.4 million partly offset these decreases.

From the September 2008 quarter to the September 2009 quarter, seasonally adjusted operating revenue increased by $89.8 million (5.7 percent) and operating expenditure increased by $103.4 million (6.3 percent).