CANBERRA, AAP – Australia’s monthly trade surplus topped $10 billion for the first time in June, aided by a surge in exports in the month.
However, Australian Bureau of Statistics data also further showed the negative impact COVID-19 lockdowns are having on the economy.
The trade surplus for goods and services rose to $10.5 billion in June, up from a revised surplus of $9.3 billion in May.
The previous record was $9.9 billion in January.
Exports rose four per cent in June to $43.3 billion, compared with imports which rose one per cent to $32.8 billion.
Meanwhile, the ABS said payroll jobs fell by a further 2.4 per cent in the fortnight to July 17, following a 0.2 per cent decline in the previous two weeks.
ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said the latest data coincided with school holidays in every state and territory, the second and third weeks of the Greater Sydney lockdown, increased restrictions in other parts of NSW and the first two days of lockdown in Victoria.
He said while every state and territory saw a fall in payroll jobs across the fortnight, the falls were much larger in NSW, down 4.4 per cent, and neighbouring ACT, down 2.4 per cent.
NSW usually accounts for around a third of total payroll jobs and Victoria around a quarter.
“As a result, lockdowns in these two states contributed to a strong fall in payroll jobs nationally,” Mr Jarvis said.
The payrolls report is a guide to the full labour force report for July which is due later this month.
Earlier this week, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe warned the jobless rate would rise with the economy set to contract in the September quarter due to the spate of lockdowns across the country.