Trade deficit soars to $2B in Nov. as imports rise
Signage marks the Statistics Canada officies in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 21, 2010. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)
Published Friday, January 11, 2013 9:42AM EST
OTTAWA -- Canada's trade deficit with most of the world ballooned to $2 billion in November from $552 million in October as merchandise imports rose and overall exports fell, although trade with the United States was up both ways.
Imports rose 2.7 per cent to $39.5 billion, with electronic and electrical equipment and parts leading the gain, followed closely by motor vehicles and parts as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products.
Canadian exports slipped 0.9 per cent to $37.5 billion, led by declines in shipments of farm, fishing and intermediate food products as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products.
Exports to the United States rose 3.9 per cent to $28.3 billion and imports were up 1.7 per cent to $25 billion, lifting the trade surplus with that country to $3.3 billion in November from $2.7 billion in October.
BMO Capital Markets economist Benjamin Reitzes noted that on a volume basis, exports managed to scratch out a 0.1 per cent increase, however import volumes jumped 2.5 per cent.
"Barring sizable revisions, real exports are poised to drop for a fourth straight quarter in Q4, though imports are on track to decline as well, mitigating the damage," Reitzes wrote in a note to clients.
"Even so, it looks as though trade might be a net drag on growth again, putting some downside risk on our call for 1.2 per cent growth in Q4."
Exports to countries other than the United States fell 13.4 per to $9.2 billion, the lowest level since September 2010.
Imports from those countries rose 4.6 per cent to $14.5 billion, raising the trade deficit with them to $5.3 billion from $3.2 billion.