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$169 million trade fall

APRIL International Trade in Goods and Services data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week indicates there has been a deficit on the balance of goods and services of $3.1 billion in April 2003 in seasonally adjusted terms.

The figures indicate SARS contributed to a fall in services exports in seasonally adjusted terms of $169 million while the continuing effects of the drought caused exports of rural goods to fall by $175 million.

Sluggish world growth also caused non-rural and other goods to fall by $695 million.

Minister for Trade Mark Vaile said concern about SARS and global security had contributed to a downturn in international tourism exports with a decline in international travel, including business travel.  He said the figures showed a seasonally adjusted preliminary estimate of short-term visitor arrivals for April 2003 to be the lowest in more than five years with SARS also impacting on Australia’s wool exports to China.

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