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Steady Growth in Imports Continues

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): September 2000


The imports trend continues to grow, according to Statistics New Zealand. Increases in crude oil prices and the weakening New Zealand dollar, particularly since April 2000, have contributed to growth in the value of merchandise imports in recent months.

For the month of September 2000 the provisional unadjusted value of merchandise imports was $3,050 million. Imports for the year ended September 2000 were $30,383 million, an increase of 20.1 per cent from the previous September year.

Seasonally adjusted imports were 5.8 per cent higher in the September 2000 quarter than the previous quarter. This follows an increase of 9.7 per cent in the June 2000 quarter. Seasonally adjusted imports of consumption goods increased by 3.8 per cent in the September 2000 quarter after decreasing by 0.5 per cent in the previous quarter.

Seasonally adjusted imports of intermediate goods increased by 5.2 per cent in the September 2000 quarter following an increase of 8.9 per cent in the previous quarter. Intermediate goods are goods used up in the production process in New Zealand. An unadjusted increase of 27.8 per cent in crude oil imports for the quarter is one of the contributing factors in the growth in seasonally adjusted intermediate goods.

Unadjusted imports of capital goods were 4.5 per cent higher in the September 2000 quarter, compared with the June 2000 quarter, while unadjusted imports of passenger motor vehicles fell 9.7 per cent.

The early estimate for September 2000 merchandise exports is $2,460 million, which would give a merchandise trade deficit of $590 million compared with a deficit of $552 million for September 1999. For the month of September, the average trade balance for the previous 10 years was a deficit of $221 million. Detailed statistics for September 2000 merchandise exports will be released on 9 November 2000.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

END


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