New Zealand Current Account Deficit Widens on Drought Impact
By Rebecca Howard
WELLINGTON, New Zealand--New Zealand's current account deficit widened in the second quarter, largely on a fall in
dairy and meat exports following a drought in early 2013.
The current account deficit widened to 1.25 billion New Zealand dollars (US$1.03 billion) in the three months ended
June 30, from a revised deficit of NZ$416 million in the first quarter, Statistics New Zealand said Wednesday.
Economists in a Wall Street Journal poll had expected a deficit of NZ$1.9 billion.
"This quarter we earned less from our dairy exports, due to dry weather affecting production earlier in the year,"
Jason Attewell, Statistics New Zealand's balance of payments manager, said.
For the 12-month period, the current account deficit totaled $9.1 billion, equivalent to 4.3% of gross domestic
product. That compares with forecasts for a deficit of NZ$10.2 billion and 4.8% of GDP in the poll.
Statistics New Zealand said the country's external debt, including both private sector and government debt--a key
focus for international ratings agencies--totaled NZ$148.1 billion as of June 30, slightly higher than a revised NZ$
147.2 billion at March 31.
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