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Imports Trend Rises

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): January 2002

The provisional value of merchandise imports for January 2002 is $2,545 million, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. The imports trend indicates increasing growth for the latest three months, following falls for the previous four months.

The early estimate for January 2002 merchandise exports is $2,300 million, giving a merchandise trade deficit of $245 million for the month, compared with a surplus of $94 million for the January 2001 month. If confirmed, this would be the largest January month deficit since 1999. Detailed statistics for January 2002 merchandise exports will be released on 14 March 2002.

Seasonally adjusted imports of consumption goods rose 7.8 percent in the January 2002 month, following a fall of 2.3 percent in the December 2001 month. Crude oil import prices have fallen again in the January 2002 month, while crude oil import quantities increased. Excluding crude oil, seasonally adjusted intermediate goods (goods imported for further processing) increased 5.9 percent in value following a fall of 3.3 percent in the December 2001 month. Seasonally adjusted capital machinery and plant imports have increased for four consecutive months and are up 0.6 percent in the January 2002 month.

For the year ended January 2002, the provisional value of merchandise imports is $32,011 million, an increase of 2.6 percent from the previous January year. Excluding items individually valued at $100 million or more (such as large aircraft and ships), the annual increase in merchandise imports was 4.5 percent.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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