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Australia's Trade Gap Narrows More Than Expected

Australia's Trade Gap Narrows More Than Expected

Australia's trade deficit fell more than expected in April, though the balance has been in the red for a fourth consecutive month, the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Friday.

The balance on foreign trade in goods and services showed a shortfall of A$203 million in April after adjusting to seasonal variations. This was smaller than March's A$1.282 billion deficit and economists' forecast of a deficit of A$900 million.

Exports of goods and services rose 3 percent month-on-month to A$26.08 billion in April, mainly driven by a 10 percent surge in shipments of metal ores and minerals. At the same time, imports value fell 1 percent to A$26.3 billion.

The economy expanded 1.3 percent sequentially in the first quarter, underpinned by a broad-based surge in business investment and household consumption.

"Despite clear signs of economic strength, there continues to be an uneven pattern of growth across our economy," Treasurer Wayne Swan said on June 6. Headwinds from a weak and volatile global economy, the high dollar, and structural changes underway in our economy continue to weigh on some sectors, he said.

The Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday cut the cash rate by 25 basis points to counter the global gloom and stimulate domestic economic growth.

by RTT Staff Writer

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