Australia posted a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade surplus of A$7.180 billion in September, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday – up 9 percent on month.
That handily exceeded forecasts for a surplus of A$5.050 billion following the upwardly revised A$6.617 billion surplus in August (originally A$5.926 billion).
Exports were up A$1.452 billion or 3.0 percent on month to A$43.215 billion.
Non-rural goods rose A$586 million (2 percent), non-monetary gold rose A$558 million (26 percent) and rural goods rose A$240 million (6 percent). Net exports of goods under merchanting remained steady at A$15 million. Services credits rose A$69 million (1 percent).
Imports gained A$889 million or 3.0 percent on month to A$36.034 billion.
Capital goods rose A$702 million (12 percent), intermediate and other merchandise goods rose A$474 million (4 percent) and consumption goods rose A$64 million (1 percent). Non-monetary gold fell A$373 million (34 percent). Services debits rose A$22 million.
Also on Thursday, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group showed that the construction sector in Australia continued to contract in October, albeit at a slightly slower rate, with a seasonally adjusted Performance of Construction Index score of 43.9.
That’s up from 42.6 in September, although it remain well beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
Individually, activity, employment, new orders, supplier deliveries and selling prices all remained in contraction, while input prices and average wages continued to expand.
House building, apartment building, engineering construction and commercial construction all remained firmly under water.