Canada Exports Rise for Third Straight Month as Deficit Narrows

2016-10-05 13:25:01

By Theophilos Argitis, Bloomberg News

Canadian exports rose for a third month in August, and the country posted a smaller-than-expected trade deficit, adding to signs of a modest rebound in the trade sector.

Canadian exports rose 0.6 percent during the month, led by energy sales, and are up 5.3 percent since touching a two-year low in May. That was tempered by falling exports to the U.S. amid a sharp decline in automobile shipments.

The report suggests Canada’s trade sector is recovering from record trade shortfalls earlier this year, but continues to face tepid demand from its biggest trading partner. Exports to the rest of the world climbed 7.7 percent, the most since 2014.

Even with three straight months of gains, exports are down 2.5 percent from a year ago, with shipments to the U.S. falling 5.1 percent over that time.

The nation’s trade deficit narrowed to C$1.9 billion in August, from C$2.2 billion a month earlier.

Here are some other highlights from the report:

*Statistics Canada revised down its July trade deficit estimate from an initially reported C$2.5 billion. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a deficit of about C$2.5 billion in August.

*Imports were unchanged in August, keeping to a trend in recent months of little movement. Since April, imports are up just 0.5 percent compared with a gain of 4.5 percent for exports over that time.

*Exports of energy rose 4.4 percent in August. Excluding energy, shipments abroad were unchanged.

*Outside of energy, the largest gainers were consumer goods and metal-related products. Shipments of motor vehicles fell 5.8 percent, while exports of aircraft-related products were down 16.2 percent.

*Exports to the U.S. were down 1.6 percent in August to C$32.4 billion, narrowing the surplus with Canada’s largest trading partner to C$2.5 billion. Exports to the U.K. were up 25 percent during the month, while sales to China were up 5.7 percent.

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