Budget Speech

Medium Range Forecast

162. The Medium Range Forecast (MRF) projects, mainly from a macro perspective, the revenue and expenditure as well as financial position of the Government.  From 2021-22 to 2024-25, a real economic growth rate of 2.8 per cent is adopted for the MRF which is slightly lower than the previous trend.

163. During the above period, the average annual capital works expenditure will exceed $100 billion, while the growth of recurrent government expenditure ranges between 4.3 per cent and 8.6 per cent per annum.    

164. Regarding land revenue, the forecast on land premium from 2021-22 onwards is based on the average proportion of land revenue to GDP over the past decade, which is 4.2 per cent of GDP.  I also assume that the growth rate of revenues from profits tax and other taxes will be similar to the economic growth rate in the next few years.

165. In addition, the forecast reflects that the Housing Reserve will be brought back to the fiscal reserves over four years starting from 2019-20, and the proceeds of the Government Green Bond Programme.

166. Based on the above assumptions and arrangements, I forecast an annual deficit in the Operating Account in each of the coming five financial years, as well as a surplus in the Capital Account every year for the same period.  The estimated deficit in the Operating Account in 2020-21 is mainly due to the expenditure arising from the one-off relief measures announced in this Budget and some of the relief announced last year.  The subsequent forecast deficit in the Operating Account is attributed to a higher growth in recurrent expenditure than that of revenue receipts.  The above forecast has not taken into account tax rebate and relief measures that the Government may implement over these four years.

167. Fiscal reserves are estimated at $937.1 billion by the end of March 2025, representing 26.5 per cent of GDP, equivalent to 15 months of government expenditure.



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