The government’s issuance of bonds in fiscal 2003 is thought to have been 1.1 trillion yen less than the amount forecast, with the economic recovery having boosted tax revenue, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.

It would be the first time in 14 years for the size of fresh bond issuance to be smaller than the initial state budget forecast, ministry officials said.

The government is set to post 35.35 trillion yen in fresh bond issuance for the year that ended March 31, down from the 36.45 trillion yen estimated in the initial budget for the year.

On a preliminary basis, the government is set to register a net surplus of 1.54 trillion yen in its general account for fiscal 2003, up from a 377.3 billion yen surplus the previous year, the ministry said, citing upbeat corporate tax revenue.

The ministry expects the government to post expenditures of 1.09 trillion yen less than its initial forecast, including a 538.3 billion yen cut in debt-servicing costs.

The ministry expects revenue to total 453.7 billion yen more than its initial estimate.

This includes 1.49 trillion yen more in tax revenue, including some 1 trillion yen more in corporate tax revenue, a sharp improvement from the revenue logged a year earlier.

This allowed the government to curb bond issuance by 1.1 trillion yen.

Revenue also included 59.5 billion yen more in nontax revenue, such as profit generated from sales of landholdings.

Ministry officials said the figures are preliminary, adding that final numbers are due out July 30.

Japan’s tax revenue is expected to total 43.28 trillion yen in fiscal 2003, down 1.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the ministry.

This figure compares with the government’s initial projection of 41.79 trillion yen.

Corporate tax revenue is projected to total 10.12 trillion yen, up from the expected 9.11 trillion yen, while revenue from income tax is expected to stand at 13.91 trillion yen, up from the initially projected 13.81 trillion yen.

Revenue from the consumption tax is estimated to total 9.71 trillion yen, up from an initial estimate of 9.49 trillion yen.

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