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Australia January Trade Surplus A$1.302 Billion

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Australia posted a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade surplus of A$1.302 billion in January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

That was shy of expectations for a surplus of A$3.80 billion and was down 61 percent from A$3.334 billion in December.

Exports were down A$945 million or 3.0 percent on month to A$31.796.

Non-monetary gold fell A$671 million (39 percent) and non-rural goods lost A$403 million (2 percent).

Rural goods added A$57 million (1 percent) and net exports of goods under merchanting gained A$1 million (17 percent).

Services credits advanced A$72 million (1 percent).

Imports advanced A$1.088 billion or 4.0 percent to A$30.494 billion.

Consumption goods jumped A$543 million (7 percent), while intermediate and other merchandise goods gained A$340 million (4 percent).

Capital goods added A$180 million (3 percent) and non-monetary gold climbed A$22 million (5 percent). Services debits rose A$3 million.

Also on Thursday, the ABS said that the total number of building approvals in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 1.8 percent on month in January, coming in at 17,412.

That beat forecasts for a decline of 0.5 percent following the 2.5 percent contraction in December.

On a yearly basis, approvals tumbled 12.0 percent - missing forecasts for a decline of 11.6 percent after slipping 11.7 percent in the previous month.

Approvals for private sector houses fell 3.0 percent on month and 9.4 percent on year to 8,840. Approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses climbed 6.2 percent on month but dropped 14.0 percent on year to 8,349.

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