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September Imports Flat

September Imports Flat

Seasonally adjusted import values for the September 2003 quarter showed virtually no change, when compared with the June 2003 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. Over the past 10 quarters, the quarterly import trend has flattened as the New Zealand dollar has generally appreciated. A higher exchange rate generally has a downward influence on import prices.

Import values for intermediate goods were down this quarter, while increases were recorded for military goods and transport equipment. Sixteen armoured vehicles imported in the August and September months contributed to the increase in the value of military goods for the September 2003 quarter. The importation of large aircraft contributed to the increase in the value of transport equipment this quarter.

The provisional value of merchandise imports for the September 2003 month is $2,951 million, 5.9 percent higher than in September 2002. The estimated export value for September 2003 is $2,230 million, 8.1 percent lower than the September 2002 value. The trade deficit for September 2003 is $721 million or 32.3 percent of exports, which is the largest deficit recorded for a September month since 1984. However, trade deficits are usual in a September month, having been recorded for the majority of the past 43 years. Detailed exports statistics will be released on 6 November 2003.

The provisional value of merchandise imports for the year ended September 2003 is $31,942 million, a decrease of 0.7 percent from the September 2002 year. The estimated value of merchandise exports for the same period is $28,764 million, resulting in an estimated trade deficit of $3,178 million.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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