World Economy

Australia Trade Deficit Doubles

Australia Trade Deficit DoublesAustralia Trade Deficit Doubles

Australia’s trade deficit more than doubled to A$2.26b ($1.96b) in September, data showed. Exports rose just 1% in the month, while imports were up 6% as Australia brought in more fuel, BBC said.

The deficit, a balance of goods and services, widened a lot more than market expectations of A$1.95b and compared to a revised deficit of A$1.013b in July. Falling prices of key commodities like iron ore is being blamed for the jump.

Export earnings in Australia, home to some of the world’s biggest miners like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, have been impacted by the slump in prices.

The price of iron ore is down 40% this year, while thermal coal prices are hovering near five-year lows of A$63 a ton on oversupply in the market and slower demand from China.

 Unemployment Rises

Australia’s labor market is weaker than previously reported, the nation’s statistics bureau said in a review released today, sending the currency lower as traders bet on an extended interest-rate pause.

The total number of Australians employed in September was 24,400 fewer than previously reported and the jobless rate was 6.2 percent, compared with the prior 6.1 percent, Bloomberg quoted the Australian Bureau of Statistics as saying in a statement on Tuesday.

The ABS said last month, when it ordered the review, that it was unable to explain a sudden bout of volatility in labor figures. It said anything from new survey questions to a waning mining boom prompted the seasonal adjustment of raw data to show a record 121,000 jobs gain in August, and if applied in September, a 172,000 loss.