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Current Account Deficit $2,302 Million

Current Account Deficit $2,302 Million

The current account deficit stands at $2,302 million for the September 2002 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. A deficit balance on the current account means New Zealand's total receipts from international trading and earnings from international investments fall short of total payments to foreigners. After adjusting for seasonal variations in the pattern of exporting and importing, the deficit is $477 million higher than the June quarter deficit, continuing a pattern of increasing deficits since the March 2002 quarter.

The main factors driving the increase in the September quarter deficit were:

lower export receipts due to falling prices for primary products, and higher import payments due to increased merchandise import volumes, which have more than offset falling merchandise import prices.

For the year ended September 2002, the current account deficit of $3,729 million was 3.0 percent of GDP, unchanged compared with year ended September 2001.

Overall, the international investment position (the nation's balance sheet with the rest of the world) shows a rising gap between the value of New Zealand investments abroad and overseas investment in New Zealand. This is mainly due to falls in the value of investments held by New Zealand fund managers in overseas share markets. Our 'net debtor' position has increased from $97.9 billion at 30 June 2002 to $99.6 billion at 30 September 2002.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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