28 Jul 2008

Trade deficit widens to $1.9bn in June quarter

3:02 pm on 28 July 2008

New Zealand's trade deficit increased in the three months to June as exports fell and imports rose.

Statistics New Zealand figures show the seasonally adjusted shortfall stood at $1.9 billion for the quarter, a level last recorded in early 2007, up from $861 million in the March quarter.

Exports fell 0.5% to $10.3 billion, mainly as a result of a drop in the volume of overseas sales of milk powder, butter and cheese following the recent drought.

In contrast, imports jumped 8.5% to $12.1 billion, led by petrol imports and big one-off items, which included an oil platform and oil production vessel and two big aircraft.

The deficit for the year stood at $4.5 billion.