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Sunday 23

September, 201810:46 AM

Current account deficit widens to $13.5bn

Current account deficit widens to $13.5bn

The current account deficit has unexpectedly widened from the March quarter's $11.7 billion, seasonally adjusted figures show.

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By AAP 04.09.2018 12:05 PM

Australia's current account deficit has widened to $13.5 billion in the three months to June, missing market expectations of a fall to $11 billion.

The current account deficit widened from the March quarter's revised $11.7 billion, according to seasonally adjusted figures released on Tuesday from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The balance on goods and services fell 16 per cent to a surplus of $2.81 billion, as commodity price rises and an improvement in the services balance failed to offset an increase in goods imports and a fall in international income from employment and investment.

International trade is expected to contribute 0.1 percentage points to quarterly GDP growth when the ABS releases the latest data on Wednesday.

Sarah Hunter, head of macroeconomics Australia for BIS Oxford Economics, said the contribution from net exports to GDP growth was likely to disappoint.

"But underneath the headlines there is more good news than bad," she said.

"Goods export volumes rose one per cent on the quarter, driven by rural produce and commodities, and services continue to perform well."

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