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Local authorities had a quarterly operating surplus in the December 2011 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Income exceeded expenditure by $69 million (after adjusting for seasonal effects).
"The operating surplus in the December 2011 quarter follows three successive quarters of falling deficit levels and is the first surplus since the $14 million surplus in the December 2007 quarter," local government statistics manager Peter Gardiner said.
Operating income (funding earned for core services) for the December 2011 quarter was $2.0 billion, and increased by $36 million (1.8 percent) from the September 2011 quarter. Operating expenditure (spending on core services) decreased during the same period by $40 million (2.0 percent), to $1.9 billion.
Rates (up $26 million), and sales and other operating income (up $24 million), were the main contributors to the rise in operating income. There was a smaller increase in investment income (up $17 million). These rises were partly offset by falls in current grants, subsidies, and donations (down $25 million) and regulatory income and petrol tax (down $7 million).
The fall in operating expenditure was mainly due to decreases in purchases and other operating expenditure (down $37 million) and employee costs (down $10 million). These decreases were partly offset by small increases in depreciation (up $4 million) and interest expenditure (up $3 million).