05/01/2018 - 15:25

November pause in export surge

05/01/2018 - 15:25

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Western Australian merchandise exports were up 22 per cent in the year to November compared with the previous corresponding period, despite the month being slightly softer, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

WA exports were stronger across 2017.

Western Australian merchandise exports were up 22 per cent in the year to November compared with the previous corresponding period, despite the month being slightly softer, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Sales were $124.5 billion in the 12 months, up from $102.3 billion in the year to November 2016.

That was the second strongest performance of any 12-month period since the year to November 2014.

But November itself was lower, with $9.7 billion of exports, a fall of about 1.9 per cent on November 2016.

Sales to China were valued at $61.8 billion across the 12 months, 26.4 per cent higher than in the year to November 2016, while exports to Japan of $16.4 billion were up by 18.3 per cent.

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Australia’s trade deficit was $628 million in seasonally adjusted terms in November, as exports fell marginally and imports rose.

Commsec chief economist Craig James said imports of consumer goods were stronger, driven by improved retail sales.

“Australia recorded surprise back-to-back trade deficits in October-November for the first time in 12 months,” he said.

“The surprise outcome, after previously recording 12 consecutive monthly trade surpluses was largely due to rising imports.

“Imports rose to a record high of $32.5 billion in November.

Imports surged in November, driven by an uplift in consumer and capital goods (plant, equipment and machinery).

“The rebound is encouraging and is consistent with the solid re-acceleration in Aussie domestic demand.

“This week, purchasing managers indexes released from the Commonwealth Bank showed expanding manufacturing and services sector activity in late 2017.”

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