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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