Story: Balance of payments

Components of New Zealand’s current account balance, 1998–2008

This chart shows the different elements that contributed to New Zealand’s current-account deficits. Until 2003 New Zealand normally ran a surplus on its international trade in goods, but had a deficit of about 6% of gross domestic product on dividend and interest payments. People overseas owned more assets in New Zealand than New Zealanders held overseas, and so more payments flowed out of the country. The result was a consistent current-account deficit. After 2003 the balance of trade in goods became negative and investment incomes even more so. Despite a surplus in services in some years, the effect was a serious worsening in the country’s deficit. Note the effect of seasonal fluctuations in dairy and meat exports and tourism on the goods and services data, and therefore on the current account.

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How to cite this page:

C. John McDermott and Rishab Sethi, 'Balance of payments - Current, financial and capital accounts', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 May 2022)

Story by C. John McDermott and Rishab Sethi, published 11 Mar 2010