CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Falling iron ore and coal prices and easing demand from China have contributed to a widening of Australia's budget deficit.
The Treasury Department on Friday raised its estimated deficit for the current fiscal year to 30.1 billion Australian dollars ($26.8 billion). The new forecast for the year ending June 30, 2014 reveals a substantial deterioration in Australia's finances since May, when the Treasury Department forecast a deficit of AU$18 billion.
Treasurer Chris Bowen postponed his government's promise to return the budget to surplus by a year to 2016-17.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is soon expected to set an election date as early as Sept. 7, and his center-left Labor Party widely expected to lose.