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Record Imports Push Deficit Over One Billion

24 November 2006

Record Imports Push Deficit Over One Billion

The value of merchandise imports for October 2006 was $3.9 billion, a 15.8 percent increase on October 2005 and the highest ever for any month, Statistics New Zealand said today. At $2.7 billion, exports were also up on October 2005 (by 10.5 percent) but trend values indicate that the growth over the previous 15 months is now easing.

The resulting trade balance is a deficit of $1.2 billion (43.0 percent of exports), the second-largest deficit on record for any month. All October months have been in deficit over the past decade.

The increase in the value of imports, compared with October 2005, was spread across most commodities. The commodity group contributing most to the increase was electrical machinery and equipment. At $56 million, mobile phones were the largest single contributor to this group. The increase in exports was led by three commodities: logs; milk powder, butter and cheese; and aluminium. Brian Pink Government Statistician

ENDS

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