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Business news and updates: Australia hit a record high trade surplus

Dynamic Business brings you a daily rundown of the most recent business news and developments from Australia and around the world. Here’s the roundup for October 6:

Australia hit record high trade surplus

Soaring demand for coal and gas exports has fuelled a trade surplus boom, countering a sudden decline in iron ore market prices following China’s cooling-off. 

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the country’s trade surplus jumped to $15.1 billion, surpassing market expectations of a $10.1 billion surplus due to reduced iron ore quantities. 

The surplus increased by $2.4 billion in August, owing to a $1.3 billion increase in resource exports and a $550 million increase in revenues from rural commodities exported offshore.

Victorians receiving Jobseeker and Youth Allowance during COVID-19 up by nearly 50 per cent

Since the initial coronavirus outbreak early last year, the number of people getting welfare payments in Victoria has climbed by about 50%. In August this year, 81,853 more people received Jobseeker or Youth Allowance than in February last year, a 46 percent rise. 

In February 2020, before the worst of the pandemic hit, there were 176,611 persons receiving Newstart payments – the former name for Jobseeker – and Youth Allowance across Victoria.

Oil hits multi-year highs 

 Oil prices rose, with US crude reaching a three-year high and Brent futures reaching a four-year high, after the OPEC+ group of producers stuck to its scheduled output rise rather than increasing it further. 

OPEC+ agreed on Monday to stick to its July agreement to increase output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) per month until at least April 2022, phasing out 5.8 million bpd of existing production limits.

The US trade deficit hits record $73.3 b in August

The trade deficit in the United States reached a new high of $73.3 billion in August, as a small uptick in exports was overwhelmed by a considerably larger surge in imports. 

According to the Commerce Department, the monthly trade deficit climbed by 4.2 percent in August, reaching an all-time high, breaking the previous record of $73.2 billion established in June. 

Exports increased 0.5 percent to $$213.7 billion in August, reflecting increased overseas demand. Despite all of the supply chain issues at ports, imports increased by 1.4 percent to $287 billion.

China remains defiant amid new US trade war threats

China is preparing for battle in the trade and technology wars started by the US and will retain policies that can boost its competitiveness, according to Chinese official media after the US outlined its new tough trade stance.

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