Current account deficit continues to widen

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15 June 2022

The seasonally adjusted current account deficit widened to $8.5 billion in the March 2022 quarter, from $6.6 billion in the December 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

The current account deficit was $1.9 billion wider than the previous quarter, mainly due to an $871 million rise in the value of goods imports and an $831 million fall in the value of services exports.

Goods imports and exports continue to rise

New Zealand’s seasonally adjusted goods imports rose by $871 million to $19.8 billion in the March 2022 quarter. The value of seasonally adjusted goods imports has been on the rise since the June 2020 quarter. This reflects the ongoing strong demand for goods imports during the COVID pandemic.

“This rise was driven by a wide range of intermediate goods, which included chemical products, such as rapid antigen tests, and pharmaceutical products, such as vaccines,” institutional sectors senior manager Paul Pascoe said.

Consumption goods, such as textiles and clothing, also contributed to the rise in goods imports.

Seasonally adjusted goods exports rose at a slower rate, by $171 million to $16.9 billion. This was driven by a rise in the value of dairy exports, which reflected an increase in global dairy prices.

The goods deficit widened by $701 million to $2.9 billion in the March 2022 quarter.

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