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NZ current account gap widens to record

Friday 19th September 2008

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New Zealand's annual current account deficit widened more than expected to a record on increased imports and a drop in investment income.

The annual deficit widened to NZ$14.97 billion in the June quarter, from a revised NZ$14.21 billion in the previous three months, Statistics New Zealand said. A deficit of NZ$14.1 billion was expected, according to a Reuters survey.

Economists estimated the current account cap amounted to 8.3% of gross domestic product, widening from 7.8%. Economic growth figures are scheduled for release on Sept. 25 and are expected to confirm the economy fell into recession in the first half of the year. The economy probably contracted 0.6% last quarter, economists estimate.

By Jonathan Underhill

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