Canada’s trade deficit has grown to five times the size it was in January, new Statistics Canada figures show.
Data for March shows imports outweighed exports by $3.4 billion, compared to $669 million just two months before.
The deficit increase was driven by an alarming reduction in exports, with a month-on-month drop of 4.8 per cent to $41 billion. Figures show more than $5 billion has been wiped off exports this year, a fall observers found alarming.
Canada’s trade deficit in numbers (figures in $ billions)
Experts from Scotiabank say the figures are particularly alarming given the weak Canadian dollar, which should help boost this value.
Bank of Montreal economist Benjamin Reitzes did not mince his words, describing the results as absolutely terrible’.
Canada’s main trade partner is the US, with traditionally more exports moving south than imports making the move the other way.
But the latest figures show that the surplus has more than halved since January, from $3.7 billion to $1.5 billion. This figure is the lowest it has been since 1993.
The latest figures come after a recent Export Development Canada report said exports would grow for all Canadian provinces between now and 2017.
EDC’s Global Export Forecast predicted a favourable economic climate in the US would boost Canadian coffers, with Americans buying everything from French fries in Prince Edward Island to vehicles in Ontario.
“Higher US demand and a much weaker Canadian dollar are sparking Canadian sales in a large number of key industries,” said report author Peter Hall, EDC’s chief economist.
If the EDC projections are to be proven accurate, Canada has some serious ground to make up.
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