09/30/2011 01:49 EDT | Updated 11/29/2011 05:12 EST

Australia government commits to 2012-13 surplus after posting $46.6 billion deficit in 2010-11

CANBERRA, Australia - The Australian government says it remains committed to returning to surplus next fiscal year with new figures showing a slightly smaller than predicted deficit in the last year.

Government data released Friday showed the deficit for the year ended June 30, 2011 was Australian dollars 47.7 billion ($46.6 billion) — AU$1.6 billion less than predicted in May and 3.4 per cent of GDP.

The slightly better outcome was the result of government cash outlays being less than expected.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said Australia would return to surplus in 2012-13 despite the task being made more difficult by softer revenues and increased global instability.