Category: Gold News

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics have just dropped the last “partials” that are released ahead of the National Accounts (GDP) data out tomorrow.

Following yesterday’s shock 1.7% drop in inventories, which will wipe a full percentage point off GDP, today brought some better news on the trade front.

The $3.9 billion rise in net trade (seasonally adjusted, chain volume measure) is expected to contribute 0.6 percentage points to the December quarter 2023 GDP quarterly movement,” the ABS noted.

So that offsets a fair chunk of the inventory hit.

Goods exports rose 3.1 per cent, mainly reflecting higher prices. Coal and metal ore exports were the largest contributor to the rise, driven by increases in both quantities and price, the ABS observed.

Exports of Rural goods and Non-monetary gold partly offset the rise.

Australia’s terms of trade, which measures the prices the nation is getting for its exports versus what it’s paying for imports, rose 2.2 per cent but was down 3.9 per cent through the year.

“The prices of goods exports rose for the first time in 2023, up 3.5 per cent, led by metal ores and coal prices,” noted Grace Kim, the ABS head of international statistics.

“Despite this rise, the price of exported goods was 8.6 per cent lower compared to this time last year.”

Exports of services rose 1.3 per cent, led by travel as more holidaymakers came to Australia.

The ABS noted that travel services exports were 61.8 per cent higher than December 2022 and 16.1 per cent higher than December 2019, which was the last quarter before COVID-19 travel restrictions were put in place.


While more visitors returned to Australia, fewer Australians went overseas as the post-COVID travel boom faded and a weaker Aussie dollar made many overseas trips more expensive.

Imports of travel services fell for the first time in 2023, down 7.8 per cent, as Australians spent less travelling overseas and travelled to closer destinations.

Imports of goods fell 1.8 per cent as imports of passenger vehicles fell in the quarter. This followed strong imports earlier in the year as order backlogs continued to be fulfilled and wait times on cars recovered.

Overall, imports of goods and services fell 2.6 per cent amid generally weakness in consumption as the economy slowed under higher interest rates.

Overall, Australia posted another current account surplus, mainly due to the jump in net exports, which increased by $10.5 billion to $11.8 billion.

There won’t be too much help from government in avoiding a negative quarterly GDP print tomorrow, though, with total public demand expected to contribute just 0.1 of a percentage point to GDP.

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