Australia’s Balance of Trade Surplus Increases in February 2023 Despite Fluctuations in Imports and Exports; ABS Warns of Uncertainty in Travel Service Debit Estimates.

Australia’s seasonally adjusted balance on goods and services increased by $2,604m in February 2023, with a surplus of $13,870m. Goods and services debits (imports) decreased by $4,304m (9.1%), driven by Non-industrial transport equipment, while goods and services credits (exports) fell $1,700m (2.9%) driven by Metal ores and minerals. However, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) warns that recent changes in traveler spending patterns have increased the uncertainty of monthly travel service debit estimates, which are now labelled as preliminary. Monthly estimates are calculated using the Overseas Arrivals and Departures (OAD) estimates for the latest month and the average spend per traveler from the previous month. Additionally, newly available Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Overseas Card Payments data will replace the OAD-based estimates in the following month. Finally, the seasonally adjusted and trend estimates of goods and services will be revised in the March month 2023 issue of this publication as a result of the annual seasonal re-analysis, which reviews the seasonal and trading day factors in more detail.