Australia posts better than expected trade surplus for May

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-06 16:09:06|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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SYDNEY, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Australia has posted a 2.47 billion Australian dollar (1.88 billion U.S. dollars) trade surplus for the month of May on Thursday.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) economic data showed exports increased by 9 percent, with imports also up 1 percent.

With most economists predicting a figure somewhere around 1.1 billion Australian dollars (0.84 billion dollars), the nation's economic upward trend has been viewed as a very pleasant surprise, after April's surplus total was limited to 555 million Australian dollars (421.69 million dollars) after severe storms shut down a number of coal mining operations in the country's north.

"What we have seen in recent months is that exports and the trade surplus have been buffeted by weather disruptions, particularly cyclone Debbie," Westpac Bank senior economist Andrew Hanlan explained to Xinhua on Thursday.

"The big story has been that the surplus shrank sharply in April as coal shipments were delayed, but we saw a return to normal operations in May and the surplus has rebounded."

Although the news is overwhelmingly positive for Australia's economy, Hanlan warns that consumer confidence is still dragging its heels.

"Consumer spending hasn't been as strong as people were expecting and we have certainly seen a lot of negative talk about the Australian economy around the time of the March quarter and the national accounts," Hanlan said

"But I think that was overdone, and that we will see some better results over the next one to two quarters, in terms of growth performance."