Trade figures confirm that June quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures on Wednesday will show a moderation in economic growth.
The current account, which measures payments for foreign trade and flows of income like interest and dividends, recorded a deficit of $11.801 billion, seasonally adjusted, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said on Tuesday.
That was down by $1.196 billion from the March quarter deficit of $12.997 billion.
After adjusting for price changes, the deficit contracted by the equivalent of 0.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), so will add 0.3 percentage points to economic growth in the June quarter.
JP Morgan economist Tom Kennedy cut his June quarter GDP forecast to 0.6 per cent from the previous forecast of 0.8 per cent.
This compares with 1.3 per cent GDP growth reported for the March quarter by the ABS mid year.
Mr Kennedy said net exports had a smaller than expected contribution to economic growth but were offset by a rise in June quarter government spending data that was reported by the ABS on Tuesday.
"Today's data represents the final piece of accounting before tomorrow's second quarter GDP print, with the conclusion that growth appears to have moderated after a blockbuster start to the year," Mr Kennedy said.
"Specifically, retail volumes, private capital expenditure and inventories all outperformed market expectations, while company profits and the data released today have come out on the low side."
Commonwealth Bank senior economist John Peters left his June quarter GDP forecast unchanged after the balance of payments and government spending data.
The ABS figures showed government spending, adjusting for price changes and regular seasonal fluctuations, rose by 1.9 per cent in the quarter.
"That's the key point to take from this data, and when you throw in the government spending numbers, that'll add 0.5 percentage point to GDP growth," he said.
"It's the final two pieces of the GDP jigsaw. So, we're predicting 0.8 per cent for the June quarter and that translates to about 3.75 per cent in annual terms."
Mr Peters said the current account figures showed that the mining boom had some way to go, despite a small fall in international investment.
"We are of a view, similar to the Reserve Bank (of Australia), that the mining boom has got plenty in it for the next couple of years," he said.
"While prices in commodities are coming off, we think, in volume terms, exports in iron ore and coal will pick up in the coming couple of years on the back of that renewed investment."
Mr Peters said he expected that more economic stimulus from the Chinese government and its central bank should help Australia's mining sector.
"Ultimately the Chinese economy will pick up from its soft patch and there will be increased demand for iron ore and coal.
Keep reading - next article