Canada October Trade Deficit Exceeds All Forecasts on Exports

Canada’s merchandise trade deficit widened in October as exports fell for a third straight month.

The deficit was C$2.76 billion ($2.07 billion), Statistics Canada said Friday from Ottawa. That exceeded the highest estimate of C$2.3 billion in a Bloomberg News economist survey with 17 responses.

The agency also boosted the September deficit figure to C$2.32 billion from C$1.73 billion. Shipments to the U.S., Canada’s largest trading partner, declined 2.8 percent.

The deficit is approaching the record C$3.6 billion set in March, as the value of oil shipments drops. At the same time, manufacturers have been slow to take advantage of a weaker currency and a U.S. recovery.

Canada’s central bank cut interest rates in January and July to cushion against the oil shock, and has said non-energy exports should help the economy regain momentum.

Exports fell 1.8 percent to C$43 billion and weakness “was concentrated in trade with the United States,” Statistics Canada said. Shipments fell in 10 of 11 categories including a

9.4 percent decline in metal ores and non-metallic minerals.

Imports fell 0.8 percent to C$45.7 billion, Statistics Canada said.

The volume of exports declined 1.5 percent and import volumes fell 0.2 percent. Volume figures adjust for price changes and can be a better indicator of how trade contributes to economic growth.

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