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New Zealand Q4 Current Account Deficit NZ$2.5 Billion

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New Zealand posted a seasonally adjusted current account deficit of NZ$2.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.

The current account deficit for the year ended December 2018 widened to NZ$11.0 billion (3.7 percent of GDP) from the NZ$8.2 billion deficit for the December 2017 year (2.9 percent of GDP).

New Zealand's net international liability position was NZ$167.3 billion (57.0 percent of GDP), up from the revised position of NZ$156.3 billion (53.6 percent of GDP) at 30 September 2018.

The seasonally adjusted goods and services surplus narrowed to NZ$54 million (down NZ$94 million).

The primary income deficit narrowed slightly to NZ$2.5 billion (down NZ$40 million). The financial account recorded a net inflow of NZ$1.4 billion.

In the fourth quarter, the goods deficit widened by NZ$109 million to NZ$1.0 billion. Goods exports fell NZ$164 million while goods imports fell NZ$56 million. Dairy and meat products led the fall in goods exports, while passenger motor cars and crude oil led the fall in goods imports.

The services surplus was NZ$1.1 billion in the December 2018 quarter, up NZ$16 million since the September 2018 quarter. Service exports rose NZ$118 million and service imports rose NZ$102 million. The rise in the services surplus was mainly due to a NZ$143 million increase in spending by visitors to New Zealand.

New Zealand recorded a net investment inflow of NZ$1.4 billion in the December 2018 quarter.

There was a NZ$1.4 billion net decrease of overseas investment assets, mainly due to a fall in reserve assets (NZ$3.7 billion). This was partly offset by a NZ$1.3 billion outflow in direct investment.

New Zealand's net international liability position was NZ$167.3 billion (57.0 percent of GDP) at 31 December 2018, up from NZ$156.3 billion (53.6 percent of GDP) at 30 September 2018.

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