24 Mar 2017

Trade deficit blows out

12:21 pm on 24 March 2017

The annual trade deficit blew out to its highest point in nearly eight years in February.

Official figures show an annual deficit of $3.8 billion, up from $3.4bn in January.

The bigger deficit was a result of weaker wool, fish, and timber export earnings, and an increase in imports, notably oil.

The deficit for the month was $18 million - the eighth month in a row a deficit has been recorded, and at a time when there would usually be a trade surplus.