29 Sep 2010

Trade deficit widens

6:40 pm on 29 September 2010

The trade deficit has widened due to reduced volumes and lower export prices.

Official figures show the deficit stood at $437 million in August, compared with a revised shortfall of $183 million in the previous month.

Statistics New Zealand says exports fell 12% to $3.1 million with prices falling for meat, dairy and forest products. Imports fell 4% to $3.6 million.

ANZ economist Mark Smith says August is normally in deficit, as it is a seasonal lull for many agricultural products.

Mr Smith says the deficit reflects that global demand has eased for commodities.

On an annual basis, the trade surplus stood at $866 million, the highest surplus since 2002.