Australia current account surplus widened notably to AUD 8.4B in Q1, up from AUD 1.7B and beat expectation of AUD 6.3B. The current account surplus was driven by a trade surplus of AUD 19.2B and a narrowing of net income deficit to AUD 10.6B. In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, the balance on goods and services surplus should contribute 0.5% to Q1 GDP growth.

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: “The impact of COVID-19 was evident across the Balance of Payments this quarter, with falls for imports and exports of both goods and services in volume terms”.

Also released, sales of manufacturing goods and services rose 2.2% qoq in Q1. Whole sale trade rose 1.6% qoq. Inventories dropped -1.2% qoq. Company gross operating profits rose 1.1% qoq. wages and salaries were flat.

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