Trade surplus hits record $16 billion

Australia posted a higher-than-expected trade surplus of $15.965 billion in May, driven by higher exports of coal and other mineral fuels.

The record surplus was an increase of $2.7 billion from the April figure and well above market expectations of around $10.5 billion.

Exports rose $5 billion (9.5%) to $58.4 billion, driven by higher shipments of coal, coke and briquettes and other mineral fuels, the Bureau reported Thursday. Australian statistics.

Imports rose $2.3 billion (5.8%) to $42.4 billion, led by imports of fuels and lubricants and non-industrial transportation equipment.

In other data, payroll employment rose 0.1% in the month to June 11, reflecting the continued impact of COVID-related disruptions.

The ABS said the latest monthly increase compared to a 0.4% drop a year earlier in Victoria’s fourth lockdown.

“Payroll jobs continued to grow more slowly in 2022 than in 2021, with the exception of a short-term increase in jobs around the federal election in public administration and the security sector in May,” he said. said the bureau’s head of labor statistics, Bjorn Jarvis.

“The slowdown in payroll employment growth in the month to mid-June continues to reflect the ongoing impacts of COVID-related disruptions and short-term employee absences, particularly for those without leave entitlements. paid.”

The strongest growth in salaried jobs came in the Northern Territory (up 0.6%) and Queensland (up 0.4%), which were largely seasonal.

The strongest increases were recorded in arts and entertainment services (up 1.4%) and in public administration and security industries (up 1.1%).

Overall, payroll employment was 6.8% higher on June 11 than at the start of the pandemic, and was up from pre-pandemic levels in 14 of 19 industries.

Meanwhile, new job postings fell for the first time since December, but remained well above pre-pandemic levels.

The monthly SEEK indicator for new job postings fell 2.1% in June after five consecutive monthly gains.

NAB economist Tapas Strickland said it was too early to conclude whether this was the start of a shift away from strong demand for workers.

Overall, job vacancies are 71.9% above pre-pandemic levels and have stabilized in the hospitality and tourism sector.

The biggest drop was in the Northern Territories (down 5%), followed by South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania (down 4%).

The largest declines outside of the self-employed category were seen in science and technology (down 11%) and advertising and media (down 10%).

“The reopened international border could begin to see more acute pressures ease in sectors such as agriculture, hospitality and tourism, where much of the workforce was made up of temporary visa holders. before the pandemic,” Strickland said.

“Despite the monthly decline, job postings remain well above pre-pandemic levels and continue to point to strong labor demand and a tight labor market.”

It remains likely that there will be a further drop in the unemployment rate when new labor force data are released next week.

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