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New Zealand Posts Smallest Trade Deficit in Seven Years as Imports Drop

New Zealand Posts Smallest Trade Deficit in Seven Years as Imports Drop

2010-02-26 04:40:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist
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New Zealand’s Trade Balance deficit narrowed to -NZ$178 million in the year to January – the smallest in over seven years – as imports fell 11.9 percent to mark the tenth consecutive month of losses, outpacing a 0.6 percent drop in exports. Inbound shipments have dropped to the lowest level in five years as the unemployment rate rose to a decade high of 7.3 percent, trimming disposable incomes and weighing on spending. The outcome is all the more ominous considering the New Zealand Dollar added an impressive 26.4 percent in the year to January, which would be expected to have supported imports by boosted domestic purchasing power. This does not speak well of the outlook for private consumption – the largest component of overall economic growth – and hints that it may be some time before the Reserve Bank of New Zealand considers increasing interest rates.


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