Thursday, August 27, 2009

Canada Posts 1st Deficit in Goods Trade in 33 Years

(CBC News)

Canada’s current account deficit grew to $11.2 billion during the second quarter, partly driven by the first quarterly deficit on international trade in goods in more than 30 years, Statistics Canada reported Friday. The current account covers transactions between Canadians and the rest of the world in goods, services, investment income, travel and other transfers.

Goods exports fell $9.3 billion to $87.6 billion, with reductions spread over most commodities. Goods imports fell $6.8 billion to $89.4 billion, resulting in a deficit of $1.7 billion – the first one posted since the first quarter of 1976.

Trade flows with the United States were a significant factor, as the bilateral goods surplus narrowed by $3.2 billion from the previous quarter. Over the last three quarters, the goods surplus has fallen by $17.6 billion.

Reductions in total exports were widespread, led by machinery and equipment, which fell by $3.5 billion. Industrial goods were down by $2.2 billion, pushing the drop in this category over the past three quarters to almost 40%.

A one-third decline in natural gas prices during the quarter led to a reduction of $2.3 billion in the value of gas exports, while crude oil exports rose by $1.3 billion, despite lower volumes.

Summary statistics and a link to the data files are on the Statistics Canada website.