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Decrease in Large Items Masks Rise in Imports

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): January 2005

Decrease in Large Items Masks Rise in Imports

Lower values of imported larger items such as aircraft and armoured motor vehicles contributed to the lower value of imports for January 2005, said Statistics New Zealand today. The provisional value of merchandise imports for this month is $2,573 million, down 1.5 percent compared with January 2004. Excluding the larger items, the value of imports is 6.4 percent higher in January 2005 than in the previous January.

The value of imported vehicles for this month is $76 million higher than for January 2004. Passenger cars, trucks and tractors were the main contributors. Medium-sized used passenger cars, with cylinder capacity between 1500cc and 3000cc, accounted for one-third of the total value of passenger cars imported in January 2005. This is a record high for this commodity, both in value and quantity.

The estimated value of exports for January 2005 is $2,255 million, resulting in an estimated trade deficit of $318 million, or 14.1 percent of exports. Both the imports and exports trends have been rising since mid-2003, with the trend for the trade deficit easing over the same period.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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