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Updated at 7:24 pm on 8 May 2012
Australia's trade balance has worsened, due to a rise in imports outpacing exports growth.
Official figures released on Tuesday show a deficit of $A1.6 billion in March, the third consecutive month of shortfalls.
Exports rose 2% to $A24.5 billion, while imports rose 5% to $26.1 billion, driven in part by equipment for the booming mining sector, and consumption goods.
Earlier, retail sales in Australia posted their biggest jump in nearly a year.
Official figures showed retail sales rose 0.9% to $A21.2 billion in March, with households spending more on eating out and shopping for clothing and footwear.
Excluding price changes, spending rose 1.8%.
Separately, ANZ Bank's job advertisements survey fell 3.1% in April, the first monthly decline this year.
Last week, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates by 0.5 points to 3.75%.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
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