13 Mar 2012

China's trade deficit biggest in 20 years

8:34 am on 13 March 2012

An economist says New Zealand exporters will be watching the Chinese market more closely after it reported its biggest trade deficit in 20 years, as demand for its products in Europe declines.

Imports rose 40% in February, compared to the same month last year, while exports were 18% higher.

ASB economist Jane Turner says China is a key market for New Zealand, and exporters will be watching it closely.

She says while some of the result is down to the Chinese New Year falling in late January, Europe is nagging at the numbers too.

Ms Turner says the data for this month should provide more direction about China's import and export figures.