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[SYDNEY] Australia's government forecast its budget deficit would balloon to A$40.4 billion (US$33.2 billion) in the year to June as falling prices for key resource exports had opened a gaping hole in tax revenue.
Releasing his midyear economic and fiscal outlook on Monday, Treasurer Joe Hockey predicted the shortfall for 2015/16 would be A$31.2 billion. The deficit for 2014/15 had been forecasted at A$29.8 billion in the May budget, while the 2015/16 shortfall had been seen at A$17.1 billion.
The release was delayed for over an hour as the government reacted to a hostage seige in Sydney.