New Zealand’s current account deficit was 2.7 billion NZ dollars (2.08 billion U.S. dollars) in the quarter to the end of September, up 700 million NZ dollars from the June quarter deficit.
The government statistics agency said on Wednesday that the larger deficit was mainly due to a fall in the goods surplus, as lower prices for exports of meat, dairy and forestry products contributed to a 600 million NZ dollars fall in the value of goods exported.
New Zealand’s total exports of goods in the quarter were valued at 11.7 billion NZ dollars, said a statement from Statistics New Zealand.
A rise of 400 million NZ dollars in the income deficit also pushed the deficit wider, as foreign investors earned more from their investments in New Zealand. This reflected increased earnings by foreign-owned banks.
Exports of services increased by 200 million NZ dollars in the latest quarter.
“More overseas visitors came to New Zealand because of the Rugby World Cup. As a result, spending by overseas visitors and earnings of resident airlines were up,” John Morris, manager of balance of payments of Statistics New Zealand, said in the statement.
International services payments, such as the Rugby World Cup hosting fee, partly offset the increase in spending by 80,000 overseas visitors who arrived for the tournament in the quarter.
New Zealand’s current account deficit was 8.7 billion NZ dollars (4.3 percent of GDP) for the year ended in September 2011, compared with a deficit of 7.4 billion NZ dollars (3.7 percent of GDP) at the end of June.