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Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): December 99

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): December 1999

Strong Import Growth Continues

Latest statistics for December 1999 show that the value of merchandise imports continues to rise strongly. The imports trend has increased for the last seven months at a rate of more than 2 per cent per month. Import values of intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods have increased in recent months.

After adjustment for seasonal factors, imports of intermediate goods increased by 11.9 per cent ($338 million) in the December quarter 1999 following an increase of 6.4 per cent in the previous quarter. Imports of electrical equipment and crude oil were the main contributors to these rises. Prices of crude oil were 29 per cent higher in the December quarter 1999 than in the previous quarter.

The trend in passenger motor vehicles was 0.5 per cent lower in the December quarter 1999 following eight consecutive quarters of increases.

Imports of consumption goods, after adjustment for seasonal factors, increased by 3.7 per cent ($62 million) in the December 1999 quarter following an increase of 5.3 per cent in the previous quarter. The largest contributor to these increases was clothing and other textile articles.

Provisional merchandise imports for December 1999 were $3,152 million. This value includes $631 million for the frigate HMNZS Te Mana.


December 1999 export statistics will be released on 11 February 2000.

Preliminary estimates indicate that the export value will be about $2,040 million. The exports trend has risen throughout 1999 but at a slower rate than the imports trend. The preliminary trade balance for December 1999 is a deficit of about $1,112 million. Excluding the new frigate the deficit is $481 million. During the 1990s the average trade balance for the month of December, including December 1999, was a deficit of $47 million.

Len Cook
GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

END

There is a companion Hot Off The Press information release published -

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports) - December 1999

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