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New Zealand Goods Trade Deficit Narrows as Imports Fall

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12/22/2014 | 05:31pm EST
   By Lucy Craymer 
 

WELLINGTON, New Zealand--New Zealand's goods trade deficit narrowed in November, coming in better than expected as imports fell more significantly than thought.

The country recorded a 213 million New Zealand dollar trade deficit for November and a NZ$453 million deficit for the year ended November, Statistics New Zealand said Tuesday. October's monthly figure was revised up to a NZ$911 million surplus, while the deficit for the 12-months to the end of October was revised slightly lower to NZ$87 million.

The median expectation in a Wall Street Journal survey of nine economists was for a deficit of NZ$550 million in November, and a deficit of NZ$810 million for the year.

New Zealand's exports were NZ$4 billion in November, down 9.5% on the same month a year go, as dairy exports fell sharply.

"The fall in export values reflects a return from the high values late last year, led by China," international statistics manager Jason Attewell said. "The trend for exports to China is 42% lower than the series peak in December 2013, and in now at similar levels to 2012."

Imports were down 1.3% on November 2013 and this was partly due to a fall in petrol and avgas imports.

Write to Lucy Craymer at lucy.craymer@wsj.com

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