New Zealand's Trade Gap Wider Than Expected In November

By James Glynn Features Dow Jones Newswires

New Zealand posted a wider than expected trade deficit in November, sending the New Zealand dollar lower.

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The trade gap came in at $1.2 billion New Zealand dollar ($840 million), well above the NZ$500 million expected by economists survey by the Wall Street Journal, Statistics New Zealand said Wednesday.

It was the first monthly deficit of more than NZ$1 billion for a November since 2005. The average monthly deficit in November over the last five year was NZ$447 million.

The New Zealand dollar retreated from around US$0.6985, down to US$0.6966 on the report.

New Zealand's unadjusted current account balance was a deficit of NZ$4.679 billion in the third quarter.

Strong goods exports were the main driver for the smaller deficit than for the same quarter a year ago, the government statistician said.

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The seasonality of New Zealand's main export commodities mean current account deficits are generally more likely in the third quarter of any year, when dairy exports are lower and more New Zealanders travel overseas, it added.

-Write to James Glynn at james.glynn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 19, 2017 17:27 ET (22:27 GMT)