5 Dec 2008

Record trade surplus recorded in Australia

6:05 am on 5 December 2008

Australia posted a record trade surplus in October, as coal exports surged and import growth stalled.

The trade surplus increased to $A3 billion, compared to a revised $A1.3 billion in September.

Separately, monthly home-building approvals fell to their lowest level since 2001, adding to signs a contraction in the property market has worsened.

Official figures show the number of permits granted to build or renovate houses and apartments fell 5.4% in October compared to the previous month.