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Trade Deficit for July

Trade Deficit for July

The estimated merchandise trade balance for July 2004 is a deficit of $373 million, or 15.0 percent of exports, according to Statistics New Zealand. A trade deficit is usual for a July month. The average July trade balance for the previous 10 years is a deficit of 10.5 percent of exports.

The provisional value of merchandise imports for July 2004 is $2,863 million, which is 2.8 percent higher than for July 2003. The main contributors to the higher value of imports for July 2004 were mechanical machinery and equipment; motor spirit, partly refined petroleum and diesel; and electrical machinery and equipment. Partly offsetting these higher values, were lower values of imported aircraft and ships.

The trend for the value of merchandise imports has risen 11.1 percent since July 2003. The value of the New Zealand dollar, as measured by the trade weighted index, has appreciated 4.5 percent since July 2003. The value of the New Zealand dollar has been relatively volatile in recent months, rising 3.5 percent from May 2004, following a fall of 7.2 percent from a peak in February 2004. An appreciating exchange rate generally has a downward influence on import prices, which may lead to an increase in the quantity of items imported.

The estimated value of merchandise exports for July 2004 is $2,490 million, which is 8.2 percent higher than for July 2003. Detailed exports information will be released on 6 September 2004.

Ian Ewing

Acting Government Statistician

END

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