Statistics Canada says trade deficit narrowed to $1.9 billion in April

OTTAWA — Canada’s merchandise trade deficit was cut in half in April as exports rose to a record and imports moved lower, Statistics Canada said Wednesday

The agency said the deficit amounted to $1.9 billion compared with a deficit of $3.9 billion in March.

Economists had expected a deficit of $3.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

“Canada’s trade picture perked up to start Q2, consistent with expectations that growth is going to bounce back after a soft start to the year,” said Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets.

“While there’s still tons of room for improvement on the trade front, this is welcome news and consistent with the Bank of Canada hiking rates at the July policy meeting.”

The smaller-than-expected deficit came as exports rose 1.6 per cent to a record $48.6 billion in April boosted by exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products, consumer goods and energy products.

Meanwhile, imports fell 2.5 per cent in April to $50.5 billion as imports of motor vehicles and parts and consumer goods fell.

In volume terms, exports rose 1.2 per cent and imports fell 2.4 per cent.

The latest trade figures came after an announcement by the U.S. last week that exemptions from steel and aluminum tariffs that Canada, Mexico and the European Union had received would expire. Canada has responded with its own tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports as well as tariffs on a broad range of consumer goods.

“Despite the good monthly print Canadian exporters are in for a rough ride in the coming months, and perhaps quarters,” TD Bank senior economist Michael Dolega wrote in a report.

“The recently imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel, together with retaliatory Canadian tariffs, will likely hold back movement of metals and metal products across the border and be a drag on economic activity — particularly in Quebec and Ontario.”

Statistics Canada said that last year the export value of aluminum products subject to the new tariffs was about $9.2 billion, while the value of the steel products was about $7.2 billion.

The agency said the import value of U.S. goods that may be subject to Canada’s proposed tariffs was $19.4 billion in 2017.

In April, Canada’s merchandise trade surplus with the United States increased to $3.6 billion in April from a $2.0-billion surplus in March as exports of crude oil and bitumen increased and imports of imports of passenger cars and light trucks fell.

Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed to $5.5 billion in April compared with $6.0 billion in March.

Just Posted

Yoga studio opens at Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer

BMO Financial Group Wellness Studio open at RDC

RCMP seek suspect in Rimbey armed robbery

Rimbey Liquor Store was robbed at gunpoint about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday

Rimbey RCMP searching for suspects in break and enter spree

Rimbey RCMP are looking for a pair of culprits responsible for five… Continue reading

Stolen vehicle and gun seized in Blackfalds

Blackfalds man to appear in court

Blood moon over Red Deer

Moon captures attention

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Opinion: Faith in immigration must be preserved

Canada has a deserved reputation for extending its arms to newcomers, but… Continue reading

Olympian Adam van Koeverden wins federal Liberal nomination in Ontario riding

MILTON, Ont. — Former Olympic flag-bearer Adam van Koeverden will be carrying… Continue reading

World champion Osmond says it’s “really nice” not to know what future holds

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Kaetlyn Osmond has a world title, Olympic medals… Continue reading

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

Timberlake pops in on patients at Texas children’s hospital

DALLAS — Justin Timberlake has pulled some sunshine from his pocket for… Continue reading

UK police speak to Prince Philip about not wearing seatbelt

LONDON — British police have spoken with Prince Philip after the husband… Continue reading

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Curtain rising Sunday night on total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The celestial curtain will be rising soon on… Continue reading

Most Read