Canada's Trade Deficit Widens on Surprise Export Decline

Worker checks welded part from auto weld assembly line at Alfield Industries

Canada’s trade gap grows as imports rise, exports edge down

The year-on-year increase was 3.5 percent.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a shortfall of C$2.05 billion.

"The U.S. trade deficit dropped in May to the lowest level in 19 months as U.S. exports rose to a record level", says ABC News. Exports to the United States slipped by 0.2 per cent while imports increased by 1.0 per cent and as a result, the trade surplus with the United States shrank to $3.29-billion in May from $3.69-billion in April.

StatsCan said imports of refined petroleum energy products, up 13.9 per cent to $1.6 billion, also contributed to the overall increase in May, mainly due to higher imports of motor gasoline.

About 74.2 per cent of all Canadian goods exported in May went to the U.S.

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Imports rose by 1.7 per cent in May to $51.1 billion, including the delivery of several airliners from the USA valued at $937 million.

Exports were off slightly for the month, falling 0.1 percent to Can$48.3 billion, on a 3.6 percent decline in sales of motor vehicles and auto parts. Aircraft drove the advance, more than tripling to $937 million on the import of several airliners from the United States.

"Imports from countries other than the United States rose 2.9 per cent in May to $18.5 billion", the agency said.

While stalled NAFTA talks are a complication, the low US dollar means many Canadian exports remain competitive in the USA, he said.

"While Canada's trade deficit was larger than expected in May, the deterioration was mostly due to temporary factors", notes National Bank Financial's Jocelyn Paquet.

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