NZ posts small current account surplus in March quarter

Thursday 24 June 2004

New Zealand posted a better than forecast $174 million current account surplus in the March quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

By The Landlord

It compares with a surplus of $267m in the March 2003 quarter, but economists had forecast on average a deficit of $173m.

The current account, also known as the balance of payments, measures New Zealand's dealings with the rest of the world including trade and "invisibles" such as debt payments.

The March year deficit was $5.70 billion, equating to 4.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The annual deficit has expanded from $4.32b in the March 2003 year, but today's number was not nearly as bad as had been feared.

Deficits for previous quarters were revised down so that the calendar 2003 deficit of $5.61b was estimated at only 4.2% of GDP instead of 4.6% previously.

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