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Growth in Imports Slows

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): July 2000

Growth in Imports Slows

The monthly imports trend is increasing but at a much slower rate than during 1999, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Since October 1999 the monthly rate of growth in the exports trend has exceeded the growth in the imports trend, causing a steady reduction of the deficit in the trade balance trend.

The provisional value of merchandise imports for July 2000 was $2,450 million. No large irregular items, such as large ships and aircraft, were imported in the month. Import values for July have averaged $2,016 million for the previous five years.

The value of imports for the year ended July 2000 was 20.6 per cent higher than for the previous July year. Intermediate goods (excluding petrol and avgas) contributed 42 per cent of this increase followed by capital goods (excluding passenger motor cars) at 21 per cent and consumption goods (excluding passenger motor cars, petrol and avgas) at 16 per cent. Intermediate goods are goods used up or transformed in industrial production processes. The largest commodity increases were for petroleum, aircraft, vehicles, electrical machinery, mechanical machinery and ships (including the frigate HMNZS Te Mana).

The preliminary estimate for July 2000 merchandise exports is $2,120 million, which would give a merchandise trade deficit of $330 million for the month compared with a deficit of $147 million for July 1999. For the last 10 years the average trade balance for July, excluding July 2000, was a deficit of $139 million. Detailed statistics for July 2000 merchandise exports will be released on 7 September 2000.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN END

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