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Canada's trade deficit widens as economic boom cools

05 Octobre 2017

Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $2.3 billion in August compared with $3.2 billion in July as the Canadian dollar strengthened relative to the USA currency.

Statistics Canada said on Thursday that the deficit expanded to C$3.41 billion ($2.73 billion), the fifth-largest on record, from a revised C$2.98 billion shortfall in July.

Year-to-date, however, the trade deficit has risen faster than it did over the same period last year, increasing by $29.1 billion, or 8.8 percent, over the first eight months of 2016. August's report followed a shrinking trade balance in the preceding two months.

Meanwhile, total imports were virtually unchanged in August at $47 billion.

Overall exports to the United States, which accounted for 74.8 percent of Canadian goods exports in August, fell by 1.8 percent, while imports rose by 0.9 percent.

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Figures on worldwide trade can be volatile from month to month.

Exports of services, including travel and financial services, hit their highest level on record, reaching $66.1 billion. "Furthermore, U.S. auto sales have rebounded smartly recently, and the elevated inventory levels that we had highlighted as a threat to Canadian exports have also come down to more normal levels".

However, some economists noted that USA demand for Canadian goods may have been slowed somewhat by the impact of the hurricane season that battered the southern late August and early September. To shrink or even eliminate the gap, the USA would either have to produce more or consume less.

Imports of goods decreased $0.3 billion to $193.6 billion, the fourth consecutive monthly decrease.

Canada's trade deficit widens as economic boom cools