Latest figures from Statistics New Zealand show a continuation of imports growth. The trend in merchandise imports has
been rising strongly each month this year.
For the year ended October 1999 compared to the previous October year, the main contributor to the growth in imports was
capital goods, particularly transport equipment. Most of the increase in transport equipment was due to imports of large
aircraft and a ship. Imports of intermediate goods and passenger motor vehicles also showed large increases.
Provisional merchandise imports for October 1999 were $2,497 million. Imports from Asia and Australia showed large
increases. Imports from Europe continued to grow but at a slower rate than the total for all countries. International
oil prices have risen steeply and pushed up the import value of crude oil.
October 1999 merchandise export statistics will be released on 9 December 1999. Preliminary estimates indicate the
export value will be about $2,040 million. This suggests a trade deficit of about $457 million. During the 1990s, the
average trade balance for the month of October, including October 1999, was a deficit of about $231 million.