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Overseas Merchandise Trade To July 1999


Latest merchandise trade figures suggest that the underlying trend in exports has been slowly rising from the start of 1996. The rate of growth in the exports trend in the last two years, however, has been slow compared to the imports trend.

The exports rise represents a revision in direction to the previously published trend for early 1999 which had shown flat performance. Due to the volatility of monthly trade statistics, trend estimates are subject to revision. The July 1999 exports value is particularly high and has had an upward influence on the exports trend. A depreciation of the New Zealand dollar from June 1999 may have contributed to this improvement.

Despite a rising exports trend, the trend in the merchandise trade balance has been declining for the last 10 consecutive months due to the stronger growth in the imports trend. The trade balance has generally been worsening since June 1997.

For the month of July 1999 the provisional merchandise trade balance was a deficit of $141 million. This is similar to the average trade balance for the month of July during the 1990s.

For the year ended July 1999, the provisional merchandise trade balance was a deficit of $1,710 million. This compares with a trade balance deficit of $209 million for the previous July year.

Provisional merchandise exports for the month of July 1999 were $2,036 million.
A Hot Off The Press titled Trade with APEC has been released today.

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