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08 June 2018, 07:08 | Joann Bryant
Canada’s Trade Deficit Narrows to Six-Month Low
Economists forecasted that the trade deficit would remain unchanged in April at its $49 billion.
The trade surplus with the USA widened to C$3.6 billion in April, after falling to C$2 billion in March.
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. According to Statistics Canada's data, in 2017, the export value of aluminum products that are subject to the 10 per cent rate was $9.2 billion, while the value of steel exports subject to the 25 per cent rate was $7.2 billion.
In April, exports of goods and services rose 0.3 percent to a record $211.2 billion. I'm skeptical. The trade deficit was deteriorating through February and hit $57 billion before rebounding in the most-recent report.
"We firmly believe that the growth in aggregate demand in the USA is outstripping supply and expect the trade gap to widen later in the year but for now we appear on track for trade to add to second-quarter growth, which would push real GDP growth in the quarter above four percent", the said in a research note.
On June 1, the US imposed tariffs on some Canadian steel and aluminum products of 25 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.
On the other hand, imports of other commodities showed a decline; such as petroleum products by 26.5 percent, plastics by 2.1 percent, corn by 18.6 percent, and wood and articles thereof by 18.4 percent.
Americans imported fewer mobile telephones and consumer goods as well as passenger cars.
CAPMAS ascribed this hike to the increase of imports of raw materials of iron or steel by 22 percent, crude oil by 182.1 percent, wheat by 1.8 percent and pharmaceuticals by 0.3 percent. But despite the declines in March and April, the deficit for the first four months of 2018 was still almost 12% higher than the same period a year ago. In terms of volume, exports grew by a slightly less pronounced 1.2 percent. Exports and imports of goods account for about three-fourths of America's total trade. Crude oil imports rose $1.0 billion in April, with prices averaging $54.50 per barrel. Weak productivity suggests the economy could struggle to maintain the current strong pace of growth.
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