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Trend in Merchandise Trade Close to Balance

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): May 2002

The monthly trend balance indicates that imports and exports have been close to balance in recent months, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Trend figures show increases in both imports and exports, however, imports are increasing at a higher rate than exports. The resulting balance indicates a slight deficit.

The provisional value of merchandise imports is $2,604 million for May 2002.

The early estimate of the value of merchandise exports for May 2002 is $3,100 million, resulting in an estimated trade surplus of $496 million, or 16.0 percent of exports, for the month. In the past ten years, the monthly May trade surplus, as a percentage of exports, has exceeded 15 percent on six occasions. Detailed statistics for May 2002 merchandise exports will be released on 9 July 2002.

There have been no imports of large items exceeding $100 million in value (such as large aircraft and ships) since November 2000.

For the year ended May 2002, the provisional value of merchandise imports is $32,185 million, an increase of 1.5 percent from the previous May year. Excluding items individually valued at $100 million or more, the annual increase in merchandise imports is 2.6 percent.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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