The Courier-Mail

Sur­prise 41pc blowout in trade deficit

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AUS­TRALIA’S cur­rent ac­count deficit blew out in the June quar­ter, widen­ing far more than econ­o­mists ex­pected, of­fi­cial fig­ures re­veal.

The cur­rent ac­count deficit widened 41 per cent, sea­son­ally ad­justed, to $19.03 bil­lion, the Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics re­vealed. An­a­lysts had ex­pected the trade deficit to come in at $15.9 bil­lion.

The re­sult fol­lows an up- wardly re­vised $13.5 bil­lion deficit in the March quar­ter.

The cur­rent ac­count mea­sures flows of in­come be­tween Aus­tralia and the rest of the world, such as in­ter­est pay­ments and div­i­dends, and trans­fers such as for­eign aid, as well as the ex­port and im­port of goods and ser­vices.

The goods and ser­vices sur­plus slumped 28 per cent to $5.99 bil­lion in the June quar- ter, in sea­son­ally ad­justed, chain vol­ume terms. That plunge in the sur­plus is ex­pected to wipe 0.6 per cent from eco­nomic growth in the June quar­ter, ac­cord­ing to the ABS.

The of­fi­cial GDP growth fig­ures for the quar­ter are due out to­day.

Aus­tralia’s net for­eign debt fell 1 per cent to $976.1 bil­lion in the June quar­ter from $984.1 bil­lion at the end of March.

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