World Economy

NZ Trade Deficit Highest Since 2009

NZ Trade Deficit Highest Since 2009NZ Trade Deficit Highest Since 2009

New Zealand’s annual trade deficit for the year ending April was the worst since the global financial crisis and was driven by falling dairy exports and prices and slowing demand from China, Xinhua news agency reported.

Government’s statistics agency Statistics New Zealand said Tuesday that at the end of last month, annual trade deficit was 2.6 billion NZ dollars (US$1.9 billion) – the largest annual deficit since the year ended June 2009.

Total goods exports in the month of April fell by 5.5 percent year on year to 4.2 billion NZ dollars, with dairy exports down by 27 percent due to lower quantities for whole milk powder and lower prices. “The value of whole milk powder we sent to China in April 2015 was a fifth of the April 2014 value,” international statistics manager Jason Attewell said in a statement.

“Volumes were a third of what they were in April 2014, and lower prices made up the rest of the fall in value.” Imports were up 2.6 percent to 4 billion NZ dollars.

Opposition Green Party said the country was paying the price for the government’s failure to diversify the economy.

“The budget last week was quite clear that the government’s positive economic predictions rely on increasing dairy revenue, but the trends show that this is unlikely,” Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said.