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Trade Deficit Continues to Grow

Overseas Merchandise Trade: November 1999
Trade Deficit Continues to Grow

Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand for the month of November 1999 show a growing deficit in the merchandise trade balance.

The deficit has been increasing during the last 14 months because the growth in merchandise imports continues to exceed the growth in merchandise exports.

The monthly trend in merchandise exports has risen continuously since December 1995. The increase in export values has been assisted by recent depreciation of the New Zealand dollar and strengthening of some commodity prices.

The seasonally adjusted volume index for merchandise exports increased in the September quarter 1999.For the month of November 1999, provisional merchandise exports were$2,080 million and the trade balance was in deficit by $764 million.

The average trade balance for the month of November during the 1990s was a deficit of $230 million.

For the year ended November 1999, the provisional merchandise trade balancewas a deficit of $2,604 million.

As a proportion of merchandise export values this is the largest annual deficit recorded since the year ended April 1986.

The trade balance for the year ended November 1998 was a deficit of $808 million. Imports of large aircraft and ships, which cost$100 million or more each, contributed $388 million to imports in the year ended November 1999 compared with $566 million in the previous November year.

The frigate HMNZS Te Mana will be included in December 1999 imports statistics which will be released on 28 January 2000.

Ian Ewing


There is a companion Hot Off The Press information release published - Overseas Merchandise Trade - November 1999.

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