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Big Improvement In BOP - Cullen

"Strong goods exports and inbound tourism are driving a steady and continuing amelioration in the balance of payments position," Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

Dr Cullen was commenting on the $95 million surplus in the March quarter.

"This represents an $804 million improvement on the same period last year and continues an improving trend which has now been evident over five consecutive quarters.

"Although the annual figure remains in deficit, it has strengthened by over $2 billion over the year ended March 2000 and is now at 5 percent of gross domestic product.

"This is in line with the Treasury's budget forecasts which are for the deficit to fall to 3.5 per cent of GDP by 2005," Dr Cullen said.

Ends

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