31 March 2003
Air NZ has cancelled 21 flights in May-June between Auckland & Los Angeles (the withdrawal of United Airlines hasn’t been followed by a transfer of business), and to Hong Kong & Japan. Bookings to the 2 Asian markets were down 5-10%, and the fall at the end of June may be higher. Air NZ said the cuts represented 3.3% of total available international capacity, 1% of international flights.
The estimated merchandise trade balance in February was just $21 million, 0.9% of the value of exports. The February surplus over the previous 10 years range from 1.6% to 19% of exports. New Zealand’s current account deficit for the December quarter was $1.9 billion and the country’s net debtor position rose $1.6 billion over the quarter to $100.9 billion. An offset was that the high dollar reduced the value of foreign currency liabilities overseas more than it reduced the value of foreign currency assets. Gross domestic product rose 0.8% in the December quarter after rises of 1.7% in June & 0.9% in September for a 4.4% annual rise. Consumer spending rose 2% in the December quarter.