Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced Saturday financial results for the current fiscal year's first month ended April 30, 2003.
Expenditure for the first month of the current financial year (2003/04) amounted to 19.3 billion HK dollars (US$2.47 billion) and revenue to 12.8 billion HK dollars (US$1.64 billion), resulting in a deficit of 6.5 billion HK dollars (US$833 million).
A government spokesman said that a deficit in the initial months of a financial year was not unusual as many major types of revenue including taxes were mostly received towards the end of a financial year.
The government is debt free, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the fiscal reserves stood at 309 billion HK dollars (US$39.6 billion) as at April 30, 2003. This includes the balance of 4 billion HK dollars (US$512 million) in the Lotteries Fund, which has been consolidated into the government's accounts with effect from the current financial year.
(Xinhua News Agency May 31, 2003)