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Terms of trade improves to 35-year high

Monday 28th February 2011

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New Zealand's terms of trade, a measure of how much is exported per import, has improved to its best level in 35 years.

The merchandise terms of trade rose 0.6% in the December 2010 quarter to reach a 35-year high, Statistics New Zealand said today. Export prices rose, while import prices fell. The rise means that 0.6 percent more imported goods could be funded by a fixed quantity of exported goods than in the September 2010 quarter.

"The latest rise in the terms of trade - the fifth in a row - means that the purchasing power of exports is higher than at any time since the March 1974 quarter," Statistics NZ's prices manager Chris Pike said.

Seasonally adjusted export volumes rose 4.5% in the December 2010 quarter, following a 2.4% fall in the September quarter. The measure of export volumes is at the highest level since the series began in the June 1990 quarter.

Dairy, meat, and forestry products were the major contributors to the rise in the latest quarter, and they had contributed to most to the fall in the September quarter.

Seasonally adjusted import volumes rose 3.8 percent in the December 2010 quarter.



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