Australians appear to have relaxed their buying overseas and are importing fewer toys, books and other goods used for relaxing.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has just released the latest trade data which shows a narrowing in the deficit on the Balance of Goods and Services to a seasonally adjusted $284 million from $693 million last month. This is lower than the $450 million the market was expecting.
Key to the turn around is the fact that imports fell and the export of non-rural goods rose $235 million or around 1%.
This was lead by an uptick in exports of metal ores and minerals which were up $250 million (3%) and other fuels and minerals which rose $197 million (9%).
On the other side of the ledger the big stand out was a fall in imports of consumption goods by $213 million (3%) in seasonally adjusted terms.
This drop was driven by falls in non-industrial transport equipment, down $166 million (9%), and toys, books and leisure goods, a drop of $40 million (8%).
Trade data doesn’t have the same impact on markets as it once did back when Paul Keating said Australia was at risk of becoming a “Banana Republic” although the Aussie dollar did bounce to 0.9515 soon after the data.
Of interest in these numbers is that consumption is lower but exports of things like iron ore is up with coal steady.
So maybe, just maybe, the transition in the economy from mining investment to mining exports has begun.