Largest January goods deficit since 2007

In January 2018, New Zealand recorded its largest deficit for a January month since 2007, Stats NZ said yesterday. This deficit contrasts with last month’s surplus, which was the largest ever for a December month.

The January 2018 trade balance was a deficit of $566 million. This was larger than January 2017 deficit as imports rose more than exports.

“Both imports and exports reached new highs for January months,” international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. “Import growth remains strong while export growth didn’t carry on at the same rate as the record-setting December 2017 month.”

Imports rose $713 million (17 percent) from January 2017, with increases across a range of commodities including turbo-jets, diesel, and ships.

Vehicles, parts, and accessories rose $42 million (6.8 per cent) to $659 million, with passenger motor cars contributing $3.8 million (1.0 per cent) to the increase.

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