Canada Posts Narrowest Current Account Gap Since 2011 on Goods

Canada registered a C$12.4 billion ($11.4 billion) current account deficit in the first quarter, the lowest since the end of 2011, as the nation’s trade balance on goods swung to surplus.

The deficit in three months through March narrowed from a revised C$15.6 billion fourth-quarter gap, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted the deficit would shrink to C$13 billion, the median of 17 responses.

Canada has run consecutive current account deficits since 2008 as receipts from exports plunged during the global financial crisis. The gap reached a record C$19.6 billion in the third quarter of 2010, and is poised to continue beyond 2016, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. A current account surplus indicates a nation is a net lender to other countries, while a deficit indicates it’s a borrower.

Canada had a surplus of C$1.56 billion in the trade of goods in the first quarter, as exports jumped in the three-month period. It was the first surplus in goods trade since the end of 2011, Statistics Canada said. The deficit for services trade widened to C$6.25 billion from C$5.85 billion. The deficit on investment income narrowed to C$6.61 billion from C$6.73 billion.

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