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Import Growth Continues - Stats NZ

The trend in merchandise imports has continued the strong growth shown during 1999 according to Statistics New Zealand figures released today. This growth has occurred despite the flat economic performance reported for the June 1999 quarter Gross Domestic Product.

The main contributor to import growth over the last year has been car imports. Imports of transport equipment, intermediate goods and consumption goods also rose strongly. The increase in transport equipment was mostly due to imports of large aircraft late last year.

The value of cars imported in the year ended August 1999 was $2,341 million and contributed 9.4 per cent of the total value of imports for the year. The number of cars imported was 212,205 and includes a large number of used cars from Japan. The average value per car was $11,031.

Provisional merchandise imports for August 1999 were $2,321 million. Imports from Asia continued to increase strongly. Imports from APEC countries continued to grow but at a slower rate than the total for all countries.
August 1999 merchandise export statistics will be released on 8 October 1999. Preliminary estimates indicate the export value will be about $1,870 million. This suggests a trade deficit of about $450 million. During the 1990s, the average trade balance for the month of August, including August 1999, was a deficit of about $211 million.


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