“The country's current account deficit has fallen to its lowest in more than 20 years, mainly because of higher commodity prices and a drop in investment income.
The deficit - a measure of payments to foreigners minus earnings paid from overseas to New Zealanders - was $4.46 billion for the year to March, or 2.4% percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
That's better than the market was expecting: the consensus among economists had been that the deficit would come down to just over $5 billion.
Statistics New Zealand says the lower deficit - $5.3 billion less than in the previous quarter - is attributable to a slump in imports and a drop in the profits paid to overseas owners of local companies.
Earnings from sales overseas also picked up in the March quarter: for the first time in more than a year, returns from exports rose, largely because of higher commodity prices.” 23 June 2010
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