27 Nov 2012

Trade deficit widens

6:42 pm on 27 November 2012

The trade deficit has widened, due in part to lower dairy prices and a high New Zealand dollar.

Official figures show a deficit of $718 million in October, compared with a $226 million shortfall in the same month a year ago.

Exports fell by more than a tenth, led by falls in milk powder, butter and cheese prices, while imports rose slightly, with the main contributions coming from plant and machinery, and consumer goods like furniture and carpets.

ANZ New Zealand senior economist Mark Smith says that while global dairy prices have now rebounded since the middle of the year, a weak international environment and high currency is taking its toll.