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Imports Growth Stalls in August

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): August 2001


Imports Growth Stalls in August

The provisional value of merchandise imports for August 2001 is $2,747 million, according to figures released today by Statistics New Zealand. Latest trend numbers suggest stalled growth in imports for the month, due to a relatively low actual value for August 2001. This reflects an appreciation of the exchange rate against all our main trading partners' currencies and lower crude oil volumes for the month.

The imports trend series shows a 0.4 percent fall for the August 2001 month. However, if petroleum and products (including crude oil) are excluded, the trend shows a flat movement for the month. Crude oil volumes fluctuate considerably from month to month.

The value of imports for the year ended August 2001 is $32,295 million, up 8.0 per cent from the previous August year. Intermediate goods (goods, including crude oil, imported for further processing) rose 15.5 per cent in value, while consumption goods rose 11.3 per cent. Capital machinery and plant rose 11.5 per cent, while capital transport equipment fell 25.5 per cent, due to decreased aircraft imports. Excluding items individually valued at $100 million or more (such as large aircraft and ships), the annual increase in the merchandise imports value was 11.0 per cent.

The countries showing the largest increase in imports value for the year ended August 2001 were the People's Republic of China, followed by Germany, Malaysia and Qatar. Imports from the United States of America showed a decrease in value for the year ended August 2001, due to lower imports of large aircraft and electrical machinery and equipment. Imports of electrical transmission apparatus from the United States of America were particularly high in August 2000.

The early estimate for August 2001 merchandise exports is $2,650 million, giving a merchandise trade deficit of $97 million for the month, compared with a deficit of $371 million for August 2000. If confirmed, the merchandise trade balance for the year ended August 2001 would be a surplus of $325 million. Detailed statistics and an updated total value for August 2001 merchandise exports will be released on 11 October 2001.

Brian Pink Government Statistician END


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