Global Macro Service > Data Insights > Asia Pacific

Trade balance bounces back into surplus

After a disappointing end to 2017, the merchandise trade balance bounced back in January, recording a A$1bn surplus. Exports increased by 4% m/m with both goods (5% m/m) and services (1% m/m) seeing a rise. In contrast, imports fell back 2%, weighed down by a 7% decline in consumption goods imports.

The positive global environment and coming online of LNG capacity will support exports growth this year, although expected declines in coal and iron ore prices will weigh on revenues - we expect export volumes to increase by over 5%. In contrast, growth in imports is forecast to slow in line with the relatively subdued pace of domestic demand. As a result, we expect the trade balance to remain comfortably in surplus this year and next.

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