September 11, 2008

Canada’s Trade Surplus Falls to $4.85B

Canada's trade surplus fell to $4.85 billion in July from June's revised $5.64 billion as import growth surpassed export growth, the government said Thursday.

Many analysts had forecast a $5.6 billion surplus. The June trade surplus originally was reported as $5.76 billion.

Canadian imports rose 4.6 percent, the fourth straight gain, and exports increased 2.2 percent.

Import growth was led by a 9.5 percent jump in new cars, Statistics Canada said.

Orders for oil pipeline pipes and tubes and underwater power cables pushed industrial imports up 6.1 percent. Aircraft, computers and excavating gear orders boosted machinery and equipment imports by 2.9 percent.

Imports from the United States jumped 8 percent.

Exports of industrial goods rose 5 percent to $10.1 billion in July, led by nickel and fertilizers. Machinery and equipment exports rose 6.6 percent to $7.6 billion.

Energy-product exports fell 1.5 percent to $12.8 billion, due in part to record high oil prices. This was the sector's first monthly decrease since October 2007, Statistics Canada said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit reached a 16-month high in July, due in part to those same record high oil prices, the U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday.

The deficit increased by 5.7 percent to $62.2 billion from June's revised $58.84 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday. The June trade gap was originally reported as $56.77 billion.