Australia's trade surplus hits record 5.4 bln USD

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-06 15:31:18|Editor: Xiang Bo
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SYDNEY, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Australia's trade surplus has increased to a record 5.4 billion U.S. dollars in June from an upwardly revised 4.1 billion U.S. dollars in May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

"An absolutely record-smashing trade surplus and that continues about an 18-month turnaround in Australia's trade position -- a deficit at the end of 2017 to a record surpluses in recent months," Westpac Bank's Senior Currency Strategist Sean Callow told Xinhua.

The price of iron ore -- which is at a five-year high -- along with solid demand from China for mining commodities, has helped to boost Australia's export figures by 1.4 percent, while import figures were down 3.6 percent.

"Export earnings have been boosted by higher commodity prices while import volumes are soft at a time of weak domestic demand and with the lower dollar making imports more expensive," Westpac economist Andrew Hanlan said.

Shortly after the release of the trade figures, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) revealed their decision to keep Australia's official interest rate on hold at one percent, in line with the expectations of most analysts.

"It is reasonable to expect that an extended period of low interest rates will be required in Australia to make progress in reducing unemployment and achieve more assured progress towards the inflation target," RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement.