OTTAWA — Canada’s merchandise trade deficit shrank in August as exports posted their first growth after two months of declines, boosted by energy products and aircraft.

Statistics Canada said Friday the trade deficit fell to $955 million in August compared with a revised figure of $1.4 billion in July.

Economists had expected a deficit of $1 billion for August, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Royal Bank economist Rannella Billy-Ochieng’ noted the trade deficit narrowed, but the details in the report were “arguably softer than the headline numbers implied.”

“Non-energy export volumes increased about one per cent month-over-month by our count, but driven largely from an increase in exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment,” Billy-Ochieng’ wrote in a report.

“That increase is likely not to be repeated in the coming months.”

Exports rose 1.8 per cent as eight of the 11 sectors moved higher led by energy products which climbed 3.9 per cent after two months of strong declines.

Exports of crude oil rose 2.9 per cent due to higher prices.

Exports of business jets to the United States helped boost exports of aircraft 38.7 per cent, while exports of metal and non-metallic mineral product rose 3.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, imports climbed 1.0 per cent, mostly on higher imports of gold and crude oil.

Imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products rose 9.4 per cent, while imports of energy products climbed 9.7 per cent.

Regionally, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States increased to $4.9 billion in August compared with $4.4 billion in July as exports to the United States rose 3.1 per cent, while imports climbed 1.8 per cent.

Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States increased to $5.9 billion in August compared with $5.7 billion in July.

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly stated the trade deficit.

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