CANBERRA: Australia posted a seasonally adjusted current account deficit of A$9.562 billion in the second quarter of 2017, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. That missed forecasts for a shortfall of A$7.5 billion following the downwardly revised A$4.754 billion deficit in the first quarter (originally -A$3.1 billion). There was a fall of A$4.333 billion on the balance on goods and services, resulting in a surplus of A$3.070 billion in the second quarter. The primary income deficit climbed A$499 million to A$12.159 billion. Net exports of GDP came in at 0.3, topping expectations for a flat reading following the 0.7 decline in the three months prior. Australia’s net IIP liability position was A$1,000.3 billion on 30 June 2017, a decline of A$24.4 billion (2 percent) on the revised 31 March 2017 position of A$1,024.6 billion.
Australia’s net foreign debt liability dropped A$21.2 billion (2 percent) to A$990.6 billion. Australia’s net foreign equity liability shed A$3.2 billion (25 percent) to A$9.7 billion at 30 June 2017. Also on Tuesday, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group showed that the services sector continued to expand in August, although at a slower rate with a Performance of Services Index score of 53.0. That’s down sharply from 56.4 in July, although it remains well above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. Four of the five activity sub-indexes expanded in August. Sales grew in August but at a slower rate than July (down 6.8 points to 53.5 points). New orders and employment also grew at a slower pace, falling to 54.2 points and 52.5 points respectively. Stocks (inventory) built up at a faster pace in August, with this sub-index rising to 54.9 points. Supplier deliveries were broadly stable in August (49.7 points) after growing in previous months. Capacity utilization hit a record high in the Australian PSI of 81.4 percent of available capacity being utilized across the services sector in August.