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Imports at High Level

Imports at High Level Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show that the trend in merchandise imports continues to rise strongly. The provisional value of merchandise imports for November 1999 was $2,845 million. Import values are normally high in November, averaging $2,068 million over the previous five years.

Imports from Asia and France showed large increases while imports from the United States of America showed low growth compared to the total imports for all countries. The commodities showing the largest rises in import values were vehicles, electrical machinery, aircraft, and mechanical machinery.

Compared to the previous November year, the main contributor to the growth in imports for the year ended November 1999 was intermediate goods followed closely by capital goods, passenger motor vehicles and consumption goods. Intermediate goods are goods that are consumed or transformed in production processes.

The preliminary estimate for November 1999 merchandise exports is $2,050 million which would give a trade deficit of $795 million. During the 1990s, including 1999, the average November trade balance was a deficit of about $233 million. Detailed statistics for November 1999 exports will be released on 18 January 2000.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

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