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Australia's Trade Surplus Falls In July

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Australia's trade surplus declined in July as exports logged only a marginal growth, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Thursday.

The trade surplus declined to A$7.26 billion in July from June's record A$7.97 billion.

Due to weak iron ore exports, overall shipments of goods and services advanced only 1 percent to A$42.53 billion. Non-monetary gold surged 66 percent, while non-rural goods fell 3 percent and rural goods slid 1 percent.

Net exports of goods under merchanting plunged 33 percent, while services exports rose A$38 million.

At the same time, imports of goods and services climbed 3 percent. Imports of intermediate and other merchandise goods grew 5 percent, and that of consumption goods rose 4 percent and non-monetary gold by 29 percent.

Meanwhile, capital goods fell 1 percent and imports of services dropped A$30 million.

Today's data is consistent with the assessment that the contribution from net trade to GDP will be smaller in the third quarter than the stellar 0.6ppt contribution in the second quarter, Ben Udy, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Even so, the economist noted that the continued weakening of the exchange rate should mean that net trade provides at least some support to GDP growth for the rest of the year.

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