Australia’s trade surplus remained strong in November, reaching $13.2 billion after surpassing $12 billion for the second straight month.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed the balance of goods and services was $12.5 billion in September and $12.7 billion in October.
The market expects a surplus of $11.3 billion next month.
Exports fell 0.4% in November due to a decline in other mineral fuels. This category includes oil and gas, whose prices have fallen.
Imports fell by 1.5% due to a sharp decline in freight forwarding services.
Economists noted that the 17.5% month-on-month drop reflected easing cost pressures on freight after the pandemic.
NAB economist Taylor Nugent said he added weight to the argument that consumer goods are moving from inflation to disinflation.
“Though we expect this to be more pronounced by 2023 than it was in Q4 2022 CPI on 25 January,” he added.
CBA economist Harry Otley said 2022 was clearly a good year for Australian exporters due to high commodity prices caused by the war in Ukraine.
“We expect the trade surplus to remain healthy heading into early 2023 as commodity prices continue to rise and strong demand for Australian commodities continues,” he said.
Job market SEEK also released its monthly job ads report, which saw a 2.6% decline in the final month of 2022.
This follows a 4.9% decline in the previous month.
Kendra Banks, managing director of SEEK ANZ, said the decline in ads running on the site suggests the company is shrinking at the end of the year.
Job ad volumes are 34% above pre-pandemic levels, despite plummeting 21% from their peak in May 2022.
The number of applications per position has risen 10.4%, which Banks said shows that candidates are willing to embrace opportunities in the new year.
“Hospitality and tourism roles are seeing the highest growth in applications per job advert, while trade and service workers are in great demand,” she observed.
The number of applications per job opening decreased by 1.1% in November.