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Australia just printed another horror trade deficit

Not funny anymore. Picture: Getty Images

Australia just printed another monster trade deficit of more than $3 billion for the month of December, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

At $3.535 billion, the balances on goods and services was more than $1 billion more than the $2.5 billion deficit economists had forecast.

As a result the Australian dollar, which was already under pressure after the RBA statement yesterday, has fallen to just above 70 cents against the US dollar.

Driving the monster outcome, the fifth balance on goods and services deficit above $3 billion in 2015, was a big fall in goods and services credits which fell 5% on the month ($1.24 billion), largely driven by a significant fall of more that $1 billion ion non-rural goods.

Services credits actually rose mildly with an increase of $108 million.

The ABS said the main components contributing to the fall in non-rural goods were:

  • Metal ores and minerals, down $926m (16%)
  • Coal, coke and briquettes, down $228m (8%)
  • Other mineral fuels, down $136m (6%).

On the debit side of the ledger, there was an overall fall of $434 million largely driven by the $399 million drop in intermediate and other merchandise purchases. But capital goods and consumption goods were also slightly lower.

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