Trade surplus, Vehicle sales down

Two more data sets released today:

First, June motor vehicle sales data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show a fall of 11.6% than the prior corresponding period (i.e June last year), although this has been put down to supply constraints from the Japanese earthquake.

A highlight was an increase in locally manufactured cars by 2.2%, namely the Holden Cruze.

Second, the May trade figures from the ABS have been released.

The key points:

The trend estimate of the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $1,689m in May 2011, a rise of $54m on the surplus in April 2011.
In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $2,333m in May 2011, a rise of $716m on the surplus in April 2011.

In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services credits rose $813m (3%) to $26,258m. Non-monetary gold rose $536m (49%), rural goods rose $172m (6%) and non-rural goods rose $103m (1%). Net exports of goods under merchanting remained steady at $35m. Services credits rose $1m.

In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services debits rose $97m to $23,926m. Consumption goods rose $204m (4%) and intermediate and other merchandise goods rose $159m (2%). Capital goods fell $347m (8%) and non-monetary gold fell $23m (6%). Services debits rose $104m (2%).

More detail is available here.

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  1. I would be very interested to see an update on the sectorial balances that DE posted about back in Jan following todays figures.
    I just watched a shocking presentation by Richard Koo on just how bad a situation the world is in with regards to private surplus/public deficits and trade. No doubt this trade surplus helps but is it enough ?

  2. Imports of consumption goods rose 4% while shoppers keep their wallets almost shut, and imports of capital goods fell 8% while the mining boom gets ever-boomier and scarcely a day goes past where I don’t get overshadowed on the highway by oversized trucks carrying huge pieces of mining plant and giant machines – which to my knowledge are largely imported. Hmmm.

        • Thrilling all right! You feel like an ant beside them!

          And I suspected they were all imported – I had never heard of big workshops down in Vic or SA that employed tens of thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid Australian manufacturing jobs to build them from scratch.

          Which is why I’m wondering how capital goods imports fell 8% when I’m seeing a constant stream of them going past. Surely they’re regarded as capital goods?

          • As someone who has actually ordered those big mining machines before, I can garauntee you almost all of them are imported, either from the US (Caterpillar), Japan (Komatsu) or Germany (big earthmoving bits of gear). Or their Chinese workshops.

          • A lot of these machines have some components delivered but fitted in OZ and some are manufactured here (for how much longer – high emitting industries according to some)(big shovels, telescopic jibs and arms, scrapers, cabins etc) – is there some different accounting trNo matt

          • As for the rise in consumption good imports in May – might it make sense that retailers thought they saw the sun breaking through the clouds with the April retail figures and went ahead with ordering? Though the boost was pretty much confined to the two flood-ravaged states, maybe retailers all over the country took heart from what they saw happening?

            Wonder what consumption good imports in June and July will look like?

          • Alex Heyworth

            Capital goods imports are notoriously lumpy, simply because some of the items are hugely expensive (eg ships, jumbo jets).

      • All those big toys are just a little thrilling aren’t they!

        Seriously, I think you should seek medical help.

  3. Wow – the Cruze numbers went up eh? Anyone care to work out that little piece of economic sunshine in taxpayer dollars per vehicle sold? I still can’t believe Holden needed the government to tell them to build a fule efficient family car.

    • U.S Government Motors aka GM also helped out with Holden. I’am actually surprised we didn’t get the O’Cruze.

  4. michael francis

    Consumers couldn’t get Toyota Corrollas because of the delay so they purchased readily available Holden Cruze’s instead.

    • Yep. Up to 12 months delay. Check out the volatility of mining inventories.

      Caterpillar lease a big industrial space in Melbourne where they put big stuff together. Basically a workshop. Then send it off to the desert.

      • Yes, they have big workshops here in Perth where they assemble equipment prior to shipping North.

        • It’s good that they assemble some stuff here but clearly that doesn’t create anything like the number of jobs manufacturing here would.

          And the “investment” spending on such things largely flows out of the economy.