New Zealand has recorded a trade deficit for August driven by a drop in the value of exports to the country's largest trading partner, Australia.
Official figures show a seasonally adjusted deficit of $101 millionfor August, compared with a small surplus of $9 million for the same month in 2011.
The seasonally adjusted value of exported goods fell 8%, while the value of exports to Australia had the biggest decline, down 17% to $172 million.
ASB economist Jane Turner says there is typically a deficit over August because of seasonal patterns in the country's exports, but the exports are weaker than expected.
She says there has been quite a sharp drop off in manufactured exports over the last two months which suggests that some of New Zealand's trading partners may be holding off on orders, perhaps because of the uncertainty which is coming from offshore.