Canada Trade Gap is Below Forecast on 3rd-Straight Export Rise

Canada’s merchandise trade deficit was smaller than economists forecast in January, as shipments of cars pushed exports higher for a third straight month.

The deficit widened to C$655 million ($488 million), from a revised C$631 million in December, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a C$900 million deficit, based on the median of 13 forecasts.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz predicts non-energy exports will drive the economy’s return to full output by the end of next year. Poloz said Jan. 20 he held off cutting interest rates, partly on signs of growth from some exporters outside the energy sector.

Motor vehicle and parts shipments rose 7.2 percent to C$9.1 billion in January, for a 12-month gain of 39 percent. Consumer goods exports rose 13.7 percent on the month to C$7.31 billion.

Energy product exports fell 7.7 percent to C$5.52 billion, and non-energy exports rose by 2.3 percent.

Both imports and exports climbed to records in January, with trade in each direction fed by automobiles and consumer goods. Exports rose 1 percent to C$46 billion, and imports by

1.1 percent to C$46.7 billion, Statistics Canada said.

The volume of exports advanced 3.6 percent, faster than the

1.6 percent rise in import volumes, Statistics Canada said. Volume figures adjust for price changes and can be a better indicator of how trade contributes to economic growth.

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