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Trade surplus narrows, retail turnover shrinks: ABS

Australia's trade surplus narrowed in June - seasonally adjusted - as domestic retail trading also declined, according to the latest ABS data.

The trade surplus balance fell $647 million in seasonally adjusted terms during the month, but remained over $2 billion, the data shows.

Goods and services credits fell $36 million to $26.4 billion, while goods and services debits rose 3%, or $611 million.

But in trend terms, the surplus grew by $128 million to $1.94 billion. And for FY11, in original terms, the trade surplus was $22.4 billion - a huge turnaround from the $3.5 billion deficit from FY10.

Retail turnover fell a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in June,with department stores being the hardest hit, the ABS concurrently revealed.

The decline is an improvement on the 0.6% slump in May, but still below the 1% growth from April.

Department store turnover fell 3.2%, with household goods retailing shrinking 0.7%. But food, clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing all gained.

Turnover fell the most in South Australia, followed by the ACT and New South Wales, but rose in WA, Queensland and the Northern Territory and was relatively unchanged in Tasmania.

In trend terms, turnover rose 0.1% in June – below the 0.2% trend growth from May and April. With this measure, department store turnover fell just 0.4%, and clothing and accessories retailing fell 0.1%.

The Australian dollar lost some of its lead against the Greenback following the release of the data, but remained above $1.07 as of late afternoon on Wednesday.