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Financial News: Australia's Current Account Logs First Surplus In 44

Australia's Current Account Logs First Surplus In 44 Years

09/03/2019 - 00:07:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's current account registered its first surplus in 44 years in the second quarter, data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Tuesday.

Another report showed a decline in retail sales for the first time in three months in July.

The current account surplus totaled A$5.85 billion in the June quarter versus a deficit of A$1.12 billion in the preceding quarter.

"Six consecutive quarters of goods and services surpluses, broadly commodity driven, have laid the foundation for our first current account surplus in 44 years," ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said.

The balance on goods and services surplus rose A$5.06 billion to A$19.89 billion. The primary income deficit fell A$1.57 billion to A$13.92 billion.

Data showed that the rising exports and falling imports resulted in an expected contribution of 0.6 percentage points to GDP growth in the June quarter.

Australia's net international investment position was a liability of A$1.0 trillion at the end of June 2019, an increase of A$9.2 billion from the previous quarter.

Another report from the statistical office showed that retail sales dropped 0.1 percent on month in July, reversing a 0.4 percent rise in June.

Ben Udy, an economist at Capital Economics, said the weakness in retail sales is not too concerning as most households would not have received their tax refunds by the end of July.

The economist still expects GDP growth bottomed out in the second quarter.

The statistical office is scheduled to publish quarterly national accounts for the second quarter on September 4. The economy is forecast to grow 0.5 percent sequentially in the second quarter.

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