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New Zealand Has NZ$1.751 Billion SA Current Account Deficit

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New Zealand posted a seasonally adjusted current account deficit of NZ$1.751 billion in the third quarter of 2015, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.

That was NZ$332 million smaller than the deficit in the second quarter.

A rise in export earnings outweighed the increase in the overseas expenditure, resulting in a smaller current account deficit, the bureau said.

"Overseas visitor spending is driving our services surplus, which has grown each quarter since December 2013," international statistics manager Jason Attewell said. "On average, visitors spent more per person this quarter than last, which was the key driver for the increase in total expenditure."

Exports of services continued to grow in the latest quarter, to reach NZ$5.2 billion. An increase in travel services exports drove this increase. Travel service exports measure overseas visitors' spending while in New Zealand.

The New Zealand dollar depreciated against most of our major currencies in the September 2015 quarter, which caused the exchange rate to rise.

"The falling New Zealand dollar may also have been a factor in attracting visitors to New Zealand as the better exchange rate meant visitors could get more for their money," Attewell said.

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was NZ$8.1 billion (3.3 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2015. This compares with a deficit of NZ$8.3 billion for the year ended June 2015.

This is the first time the annual current account deficit has decreased between quarters since the year ended June 2014, the bureau said.

The reduced deficit was again mainly due to the continued rise in spending by overseas visitors to New Zealand. For the year ended September 2015, the number of international visitors to New Zealand and the average spend per person both increased.

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