17 Jun 2015

Current account deficit narrows

1:50 pm on 17 June 2015

The current account deficit has narrowed in the first three months of the year, due to lower oil prices and a fall in New Zealand's overseas spending.

Statistics New Zealand said the seasonally adjusted current account deficit, which is a broad measure of the country's international dealings, fell to $1.8 billion in the three months to March, compared with $751 million in the December quarter.

But the annual current account deficit widened to $8.6 billion, or 3.6 percent of gross domestic product.

The larger annual current account balance is mainly due to a fall in exports of goods, which in turn has been driven by falling dairy prices.

Senior economist at ANZ Bank Philip Borkin said a fall in the value of dividends paid by New Zealand companies to overseas investors also had an impact on the current account.

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