Trade deficit grows to $3.4 billion in August as exports move lower

OTTAWA — Canadian exports fell for a third month in a row as the country’s trade deficit increased in August, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

The trade deficit came in at $3.4 billion for the month compared with a $3.0-billion deficit in July.

The increase came as overall exports slipped 1.0 per cent to $43.6 billion in August. Export volumes fell 1.9 per cent for the month.

Imports were virtually unchanged in August at $47 billion.

“In case there was any doubt that peak Canadian growth is behind us, this report all but cements the case,” Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic wrote in a report.

The Canadian economy roared through the first six months of the year. The strength helped prompt the Bank of Canada to raise its key interest rate target twice however, the pace of growth is expected to slow in the second half of the year.

Kavcic said the trade results were “another argument for the Bank of Canada to take a breather.”

The larger trade deficit came as exports of consumer goods and basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products, as well as metal ores and non-metallic minerals moved lower. Exports excluding energy products were down 1.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, imports of motor vehicles and parts climbed 2.5 per cent to $9.3 billion, while metal ores and non-metallic minerals rose 9.9 per cent to $1.2 billion.

Imports of consumer goods fell 1.8 per cent to $10.1 billion.

TD Bank economist Dina Ignjatovic said, going forward, a healthy U.S. economy should help to prop up demand for Canadian-made goods, supporting export volumes.

“However, the appreciation of the loonie since early-September has somewhat reduced the competitiveness of Canadian exporters and could provide some offset,” Ignjatovic wrote in a note to clients.

“The outcome of the NAFTA renegotiations also poses some risk, but with negotiations moving slowly, it is unlikely to impact trade this year.”

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 U.S. currency.

The country’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States slipped to $5.7 billion in August compared with $6.2 billion in July.

Just Posted

WATCH: A Russian new year party in Red Deer

Hundreds fill the G.H. Dawe Community Centre for the 10th Russian Children’s New Year Party

Car hits moose north of Red Deer, driver in hospital with life threatening injuries

One person was airlifted to hospital, and another taken by ambulance after… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Ten Thousand Villages to close in 2018

This will be the last Christmas for Red Deer’s Ten Thousand Villages.… Continue reading

Celestial light show can be seen over Red Deer this week

Local students stay up to watch the meteor shower

Businesses to gather to talk about crime

Red Deer Downtown Business Association understands challenges

Watch: Man plays flaming bagpipes while riding a unicycle in a ‘Star Wars’ costume

The sight of Darth Vader, riding a unicycle and playing flaming bagpipes,… Continue reading

Dying man’s wish to see new ‘Star Wars’ movie coming true

A dying man’s wish to see the new “Star Wars” movie is… Continue reading

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Trudeaus, Mulroneys, Erdem? Canadians who could snag a royal wedding invite

Save the date. Kensington Palace announced Friday that Prince Harry and Meghan… Continue reading

More to be done to ensure timely justice, retiring Beverley McLachlin says

Canada’s retiring top judge says more must be done to ensure the… Continue reading

Labrador mayor who was shot in face in hunting accident has died

John Hickey accidently shot himself while checking rabbit snares

Shelter dogs could go vegan in Los Angeles

Los Angeles may soon be home to a lot more vegan dogs.… Continue reading

The coolest way to serve coffee at dinner’s end

I can put together a decent dinner party. But when it comes… Continue reading

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

One of the thousands of firefighters battling a series of wildfires across… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month