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Increased goods imports, flat goods exports and a widening net primary income deficit were the main contributors to the current account deficit increase in the December quarter 2017, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The seasonally adjusted current account deficit rose $3,011 million to $14,024 million in the December quarter 2017. In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services deficit in the December quarter 2017 was $117 million, a turnaround of $2,094 million from a surplus of $1,977 million in the September quarter 2017. Imports of goods and services rose $1,953 million and exports of goods and services fell $140 million. The net primary income deficit widened $899m in the December quarter 2017.
In volume terms, exports fell and imports rose this quarter, and as a result international trade is expected to detract 0.5 percentage points from growth in the December quarter 2017 Gross Domestic Product. In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, the balance on goods and services deficit increased $2,064 million to a deficit of $13,081 million.
Australia's net international investment position was a liability of $986.2 billion at 31 December 2017, an increase of $27.8 billion (3 per cent) on the revised 30 September 2017 position of $958.4 billion.
Australia's net foreign debt liability position increased $19.6 billion (2 per cent) to $1,010.0 billion. Australia's net foreign equity asset position decreased $8.3 billion (26 per cent) to $23.8 billion at 31 December 2017.
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