Canada’s trade deficit widened in August to Can$3.4 billion (US$2.7 billion) on falling exports, the government statistical agency said Thursday.
The figure topped analysts’s forecast of a Can$2.65 billion deficit, as other recent indicators appeared to show the economy heating up.
Following two consecutive steep monthly decreases, exports fell a further 1.0 percent in August to Can$43.6 billion, led by falling foreign demand for Canadian consumer goods, chemical, plastic and rubber products, and ores and minerals, according to Statistics Canada.
The drop in consumer goods exports was attributable to a decrease in foreign sales of pharmaceutical and medicinal products, mainly to Italy. The close of the snow crab fishing season also pulled down seafood exports.
Exports of radioactive ores and concentrates, meanwhile, fell after the shutdowns of uranium refining facilities.
Total imports were virtually unchanged in the month, with slight upticks in imports of motor vehicles and parts, and ores and minerals, partially offset by a drop in imports of clothing from Bangladesh.
Canada’s trade surplus with its neighbor the United States narrowed from Can$3.2 billion to Can$2.3 billion as exports fell and imports rose. Notably the Canadian dollar gained 0.5 cents US from July to August.
Increased exports to Britain (unwrought gold) and Japan (coal and canola) were partially offset by lower exports to China (canola) and India (uranium).