Statistics Canada reports trade deficit grows to $2.7B in February - InfoNews

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Statistics Canada reports trade deficit grows to $2.7B in February

April 05, 2018 - 6:48 AM

OTTAWA - Canada's merchandise trade deficit increased in February as imports of energy products swelled to their highest level since November 2014.

Statistics Canada said Thursday that the country posted a trade deficit of $2.7 billion in February compared with $1.9 billion in January.

Economists had expected a deficit of $2 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

"Trade got off to a rocky start this year, with February's report confirming that net trade will likely weigh on growth in the first quarter," TD Bank Dina Ignjatovic wrote in report.

"Going forward, an acceleration in economic activity south of the border and a loonie hovering below 80 US cents should help to improve Canada's trade picture. That said, NAFTA renegotiations and concerns of a global trade war stemming from protectionist rhetoric from the White House leaves a cloud of uncertainty over the outlook."

The increased trade deficit came as imports rose 1.9 per cent to $48.6 billion.

Imports of energy products climbed 15.4 per cent to $3.4 billion in February as imports of crude oil and crude bitumen gained 15.4 per cent. Imports of refined petroleum energy products increased 24.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, exports increased 0.4 per cent to $45.9 billion as exports of motor vehicles and parts climbed 5.0 per cent to $7.5 billion following plant closures in January.

Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts also gained 19.6 per cent to $1.7 billion.

Regionally, Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $2.6 billion in February compared with $2.9 billion in January as imports from the U.S. grew 3.3 per cent. Exports to the U.S. increased 1.9 per cent.

Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States increased to $5.3 billion in February from $4.9 billion in January.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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