5368.0 - International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Apr 2020 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2020   
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April key points

Suspension of Trend Estimates

  • Due to the impact of COVID-19 trend estimates have been suspended in this publication from March 2019.

Balance on goods and services
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $8,800m in April 2020, a decrease of $1,646m on the surplus in March 2020.


Credits (exports of goods and services)
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services credits fell $4,756m (11%) to $37,505m. Non-rural goods fell $2,192m (8%) and non-monetary gold fell $1,694m (47%). Rural goods rose $39m (1%) and net exports of goods under merchanting rose $15m (79%). Services credits fell $924m (13%).


Debits (imports of goods and services)
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services debits fell $3,111m (10%) to $28,705m. Intermediate and other merchandise goods fell $507m (5%) and non-monetary gold fell $402m (40%). Consumption goods rose $329m (4%) and capital goods rose $243m (4%). Services debits fell $2,773m (42%).


Key figures
Feb 2020
Mar 2020
Apr 2020
Mar 20 to Apr 20
$m
$m
$m
% change

BALANCE ON GOODS AND SERVICES
Trend estimates (a)
na
na
na
na
Seasonally adjusted
4 176
10 446
8 800
-16
CREDITS (Exports of goods & services)
Trend estimates (a)
na
na
na
na
Seasonally adjusted
37 109
42 261
37 505
-11
DEBITS (Imports of goods & services)
Trend estimates (a)
na
na
na
na
Seasonally adjusted
32 933
31 816
28 705
-10

na not available
(a) Trend Series is not published from March 2019


Balance on Goods and Services, Seasonally adjusted
Graph: This graph shows the Balance on Goods and Services for the Trend and Seasonally adjusted series


Suspension of Trend Estimates

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in international trade activity. In the short term, this measurement will be significantly affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent changes to regular patterns in international trade that will occur during this time. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for this unusual event, they would provide a misleading view of underlying international trade activity.

It may be some time before the underlying trend in international trade activity can be accurately estimated. The trend series has therefore been suspended from March 2019 and will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend in international trade.

Seasonally Adjusted Estimates

International Accounts uses the concurrent seasonal adjustment method, meaning that seasonal factors are re-estimated each time a new data point becomes available. If not appropriately accounted for, unusual real-world events, such as COVID-19, can distort estimates calculated using this method. From March 2020, seasonal factors that have been notably impacted by these events have been calculated using data up to and including February 2020, then projected from March 2020 onwards. This approach, known as the forward factor method, ensures that the seasonal factors are not distorted by COVID-19 impacts.

COVID-19 in April Month

Quality assurance undertaken by the ABS confirmed that COVID-19 did not result in quality impacts to International Trade in Goods and Services statistics for April 2020. For information on the expected economic impacts of COVID-19, please see the ABS Chief Economist Series paper Measuring natural disasters in the Australian economy.

New ABS Website

The ABS will be launching a new website in 2020. You will soon be able to see how this release will appear on the new website by exploring our Beta site. Regular users of this information are encouraged to explore the Beta site and consider if this will affect the way you access and consume ABS data and information. If you would like more information on the new ABS website, or want to discuss how the transition to the new site might impact you, please email newABSwebsite@abs.gov.au