Australia October Trade Surplus A$11.22 Billion


Australia posted a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade surplus of A$11.22 billion in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

That exceeded expectations for a surplus of A$11.0 billion following the downwardly revised A$11.82 billion trade surplus in September (originally -A$12.243 billion).

Exports dropped 3.0 percent on month or A$1.491 billion to A$43.053 billion. Goods were down 3.0 percent on month, while services fell 6.0 percent.

Imports also slipped 3.0 percent on month or A$887 million to A$31.833 billion. Goods were down 3.0 percent on month, while services fell 2.0 percent.

Also on Thursday, the ABS said that:
• The value of retail sales in Australia advanced a seasonally adjusted 4.9 percent on month in October, coming in at A$31.130 billion. That was in line with expectations following the 1.3 percent gain in September.

Individually, sales for clothing, household goods, department store items, restaurants and other retailing all were higher, while sales for food were slightly softer.

By region, sales were higher in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory; sales were down in South Australia and Tasmania.

On a yearly basis, retail sales advanced 5.2 percent.

• The value of owner-occupied home loans in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 4.1 percent on month in October, coming in at A$19.84 billion. That missed forecasts for an increase of 1.0 percent following the 2.7 percent decline in September.

Investment lending was up 1.1 percent to A$9.73 billion after gaining 1.4 percent in the previous month. Overall home loans were worth A$29.57 billion, down 2.5 percent on month.

On a yearly basis, owner occupied loans were up 15.1 percent, investment lending skyrocketed 89.6 percent and overall lending surged 32.2 percent.

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