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Export Surge Import Plummet Welcomed

Media Release 30 January 2001

EXPORT SURGE IMPORT PLUMMET WELCOMED

"The December surge in exports accompanied by a plummet in imports is welcome news," says Alasdair Thompson, Chief Executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association.

"The preliminary trade estimates for December indicate a positive turnaround in our poor balance of trade performance is gathering steady momentum."

"Merchandise imports for December were down $480 million or 15%, while merchandise exports were 29% up on December 1999. The indicative drop in imports across all main categories was surprisingly high and if the general trend is confirmed, it will indicate a decline in domestic economic activity."

"The best trade surplus is one that comes from an increase in exports," said Mr Thompson.

"Although these preliminary results show a substantial improvement, there is some way yet to go to achieve a trade surplus with the rolling 12 month deficit to December 2000 at $1.6 billion" concluded Mr Thompson.


ENDS

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