Trade deficit improves

Australia’s seasonally adjusted trade deficit improved by 9 per cent to $2.19 billion between June and September. In September 1999 the deficit stood at $4.31 million. Mainly thanks to the Olympics, the services balance turned around from a $286 million deficit to a $1,038 million surplus. The Olympic effect also underpinned a 25.7 per cent improvement in the total current account deficit, to $5.47 billion, between June September quarters. In September 1999 the seasonally adjusted current account deficit was $9.50 billion. However, not all of the external accounts are improving. Australia’s net foreign debt deteriorated by $25 billion to $294 billion between the March and June quarters. Total liabilities (including both debt and equity) topped $400 billion for the first time.

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