Australia’s Trade Gap Unexpectedly Narrows

Australia’s trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in June as exports including gold rose and imports stagnated.

The shortfall shrank to A$441 million ($372 million) from a revised A$737 million in May, the Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney.

Exports rose 2 percent to A$20.4 billion in June, today’s report showed. Shipments of gold jumped 17 percent and cereal exports surged 15 percent.

Imports were little changed at A$20.8 billion. Fuel imports rose 13 percent and consumer goods advanced 4 percent.

Australia avoided a recession in the first quarter as government cash handouts and interest-rate cuts stoked consumer spending. A report yesterday showed retail sales jumped 2 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months.

The economy expanded 0.4 percent from the fourth quarter, when it shrank 0.6 percent. Second-quarter figures will be published on Sept. 2.

Australia’s Trade Gap Unexpectedly Narrows, Bloomberg
8/5/2009 11:22:02 AM