27 Jun 2011

Trade surplus falls from record high

12:35 pm on 27 June 2011

The country's trade surplus narrowed in May, but remained healthy as the value of exports outweighed imports.

The trade surplus of $605 million for the month was a decrease on April's record $1.1 billion surplus.

Exports rose 10% to $4.6 billion led by pleasure boats, higher prices for dairy products, meat and edible offal, Statistics New Zealand said.

It said exports to China showed the largest increase.

Imports rose 17% to $4 billion, with fuel and aircraft parts leading the way.

BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert says imports were stronger than expected, showing there's demand from consumers.

Mr Ebert says export values are likely to remain strong over the next few months, and outpace imports.

Stripping out the one-off import of aircraft parts, the trade surplus would be $819 million dollars for May.

The country's trade balance is the value of exports minus the value of imports.