Australia's economy is likely to stay upbeat after the country on Friday reported a surprise A$1.243 billion ($912 billion) trade surplus in November—the first in almost three years—as bulk commodity exports jumped and wide than the A$500 million deficit seen by analysts polled by Reuters.
Boosting the economy was a sustained rally in iron ore and coal prices, which surged in 2016 due to demand from China after it cut excess capacity and on expectations from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's massive fiscal stimulus plan.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, exports jumped 8 percent from a month ago to A$30 billion that sent figures bucking analysts' expectations. Imports were unchanged from October.
Broker CommSec Equities' analyst Savanth Sebastian said he expected surprise surpluses to continue for the next few months on support from commodities and weakness in the Australian dollar relative to the greenback.
Other than strong iron ore and coal prices, there will also be a lift in exports from mid to late 2017 asmega liquefied natural gas projects come online, he said.