Australia’s economic outlook has taken a concerning turn as the trade surplus for September contracted significantly, recording its lowest monthly surplus since March 2021. The data released indicates a shrinkage from prior month’s AUD 10.16B to AUD 6.79B, falling short of the anticipated AUD 9.58B surplus. This sharp decline in trade surplus is fueling concerns that the Australian economy may have slipped into recession in the third quarter.
The primary factor contributing to the reduced surplus is a noticeable -1.4% yoy drop in goods exports, which totaled AUD 45.62B. This decline was primarily driven by a substantial -39.2% reduction in the shipment of metals and non-monetary gold, a critical export commodity for the Australian economy.
On the import side, there was a 7.5% yoy increase to AUD 38.84B. This surge in imports is attributed to a 23.3% jump in import of capital goods. Additionally, there was a noticeable spike in the demand for recreational items.