New Zealand posted a seasonally adjusted current account deficit of NZ$2.5 billion in the third quarter of 2014, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.
That follows the NZ$1.01 billion shortfall in the second quarter.
Exports of goods fell NZ$380 million, driven by an 11.4 percent fall in dairy product prices.
Imports of goods added NZ$325 million, led by an increase in imports of aircraft and oil stocks held overseas by New Zealand-based oil companies.
“With the value of goods exports falling and imports rising, the current account deficit is now the largest it has been in nearly six years,” international statistics manager Jason Attewell said.
New Zealand’s annual current account deficit was NZ$6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of NZ$5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014.
New Zealand’s net international liability position was NZ$152.3 billion (64.3 percent of GDP) in Q3, up from a revised $151.5 billion in the second quarter. A depreciating New Zealand dollar in Q3 resulted in higher values for both overseas assets and liabilities, the bureau noted.
New Zealand’s external debt position fell NZ$501 million to NZ$141.8 billion (59.9 percent of GDP) in the third quarter.
As a percentage of GDP, net external debt has been falling for almost two years, and is at its lowest level since 31 December 2003, the bureau said.
A current account deficit means New Zealand’s earnings from the rest of the world are less than our overseas expenditure. This quarter’s deficit was funded by a net inflow of foreign investment into New Zealand.