Downslide Down Under
The ongoing drought in Australia has widened the trade deficit of the country. Rural exports have been hit as the rising Australian dollar has made imports cheaper. Analysts do not see a change in the situation until there is an improvement in the agricultural sector and growth stimulation in the international economy. The future will be worse with the Reserve Bank of Australia's interest rates rising. The Australian Bureau of Statistics, the official statistical body, said the deficit for goods and services in November 2003 was up slightly from October's last year.