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Financial News: New Zealand Has Unadjusted NZ$182 Million Current Account

New Zealand Has Unadjusted NZ$182 Million Current Account Surplus

06/19/2018 - 19:45:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - New Zealand posted an unadjusted current account surplus of NZ$182 million in the first quarter of 2018, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.

That beat expectations for a surplus of NZ$50 million following the NZ$2.745 billion deficit in the previous three months.

The GDP ratio was -2.8 percent - matching forecasts following the 2.7 percent decline in the three months prior.

Seasonally adjusted, the current account deficit was a nine-year high NZ$3 billion.

The goods deficit widened to NZ$1.7 billion in Q1, due to strong imports of petroleum and machinery and equipment (such as tractors).

"We had a record value of imported goods this quarter, which continued a trend of rising imports," international statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. "The price of imported crude oil rose 10 percent and the volume increased more than 5 percent. Imports increased over a range of commodities, which included tractors."

New Zealand's exports of goods fell 5.9 percent from the December 2017 quarter's record high, but they remained at a high level. Lower dairy prices and a fall in the volume of meat exports contributed to the drop.

Also on Wednesday, the latest survey from Westpac Bank showed that consumer confidence in New Zealand continued to be positive in the second quarter of 2018 with an index score of 108.6.

That's down from 111.2 in the three months prior, although it remains well above the line of 100 that separates optimism from pessimism.

The decline was in response to a slowing housing market, Westpac said.

The bank added that the drop was more of a general malaise among households instead of specific concerns over the direction in which the economy is heading.

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