New Zealand’s net international liability position has worsened in all of the last 5 quarters, rising from $149.4 billion in June 2015 to $166.2 billion (64.9% of gdp) in the September 2016 quarter. The figures out from Statistics NZ yesterday show 3 steps of about $4 billion and, in the latest quarter, another step up of $3.2 billion from a revised $163 billion (64.4% of gdp) in June.
The value of liabilities increased by $2.5 billion in the latest quarter while the value of assets decreased by $710 million.
Statistics NZ’s international statistics senior manager, Jason Attewell, said yesterday the seasonally adjusted current account deficit increased from $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion in the September quarter, a result of more spent on imports, $686 million less earned from exports, a shortfall which was funded by the banking sector.
Meat (New Zealand’s second largest export commodity) led the fall in export goods, down $235 million. Fruit exports also fell, dairy showed little change, logs & timber exports rose by $43 million.
Mr Attewell said New Zealand’s offshore investments earned less income, the main factor driving a $71 million increase in the investment income deficit, and foreign tourists spent less in New Zealand, leading to a $16 million fall in the services surplus.
The annual current account deficit was $7.5 billion (2.9% of gdp) for the September year, down from $8.5 billion (or 3.5% of gdp) for the previous 12 months.
Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.