Trade Deficit Rises
CBJ — The country’s trade deficit rose to $2.69 billion in February from $1.94 billion in January as imports grew much faster than exports.
The figures released by Statistics Canada came as somewhat of a surprise and the deficit was larger than the $2 billion shortfall that had been widely anticipated by most financial experts.
Imports climbed 1.9% on a 15% surge in shipments of energy products, pushed up by higher demand for crude oil and crude bitumen. Imports of motor vehicles and parts climbed by 1.7% after unusual auto plant shutdowns had hurt demand in January.
Exports grew by 0.4% as shipments of passenger cars and light trucks rebounded following the auto plant closures in January. Exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products dropped by more than 17% as rail transport problems in western Canada slashed shipments of wheat and canola.
Exports to the United States rose almost 2% while imports increased by 3.3%.