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Australia budget surplus likely a one-off as spending surges

Canberra's finances face 'downside shock' after commodity price windfall

Australia posted a budget surplus of AU$4.2 billion for the year to June 2023, its first since the 2007-2008 fiscal year. (Source photos by Reuters and Getty Images)

SYDNEY -- Australia has posted its first budget surplus in 15 years, largely from soaring commodity prices, but the modest windfall could be a one-off unless the government can find other sources to bolster revenue.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers forecast the budget will be back in the red from next year as spending is set to outpace revenue growth, driven by rising costs for health care, elder care and defense at a time when momentum in the 2.3 trillion Australian dollar ($1.5 trillion) economy is expected to slow.

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