New Zealand had a merchandise trade deficit of NZ$340 million in January, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday.
That beat expectations for a shortfall of NZ$549 million following the NZ$547 million surplus in December.
Exports climbed an annual 8.8 percent in January to NZ$4.73 billion, exceeding forecasts for NZ$4.44 billion after coming in at NZ$5.54 billion a month earlier.
Imports were down 4.0 percent on year to NZ$5.07 billion versus expectations for NZ$5.00 billion, which would have been roughly unchanged from the previous month.
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