FIRST NEW ZEALAND MARCH TRADE DEFICIT SINCE 1987

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (May 11, 1998 - Radio Australia)---Newly released figures show New Zealand has registered its first trade deficit for the month of March since 1987.

Statistics New Zealand says provisional merchandise trade data indicate a deficit of $US 34.35 million for the month and $US 297.4 million for the year.

A government spokespersons says a 16.8 percent rise in imports since March 1997 is the reason for the worsening trade balance.

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