Energy propels Canadian exports to record high in March

Canada trade deficit narrows sharply as energy, consumer exports surge

WASHINGTON-The U.S. trade gap widened in the first quarter compared to a year earlier as exports and imports rose, suggesting underlying strength in the global economy.

The US trade deficit drifted lower in March despite record imports from Mexico and a drop in total exports, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday (May 4).

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed to USD43.7 billion in March from a revised USD43.8 billion in February.

Imports had risen in recent months on higher oil prices.

The goods deficit decreased $0.3 billion to $65.5 billion, while the services surplus increased $0.4 billion to $21.8 billion. At the same time, exports to the European Union and South Korea rose to records, while shipments to Germany were the highest since 2008.




The Trump administration is looking at trade as it seeks to boost annual economic growth to 4 percent.

Exports of those products rose 9.5 percent to $95.6 billion while imports increased 6.2 to $106.7 billion.

Exports to countries other than the U.S., meanwhile, rose 15.3 per cent, bolstered by sales to China, India and South Korea.

President Donald Trump is poised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which links Canada, Mexico and the United States, and has threatened to pull out unless the U.S. gets a favourable deal. Imports were also down, falling 0.7 per cent to US$234.7 billion. Last week's (preliminary) announcement that Canadian softwood lumber exports will be hit with a hefty tariff shows that the new President intends to make good on his promise to ensure fair trade for America.

Exports of goods decreased just over $2.0 billion to $126.3 billion in March, driven by a $0.6 billion decline in oil and $0.6 billion reduction in petroleum products.

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