(Ottawa) Canada recorded its first trade surplus since May 2019 in January, thanks to a sharp rise in exports, Statistics Canada said Friday.
The agency says the $ 1.4 billion surplus was the largest since July 2014. It comes after a deficit adjusted around $ 2 billion in December.
Economists projected an average deficit of $ 1.4 billion in January, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.
This Canadian Statistics report came on the heels of preliminary estimates released earlier this week that GDP advanced 0.5% in January, following a 0.1% increase in December.
Omar Abdel Rahman, economist at TD Bank, says this Trade Balance report adds to the list of indicators that indicate that the Canadian economy is performing better than expected at the beginning of the year.
Even if this data, he says, is partly temporary due to the volatile contributions to aircraft exports and gold bars, Mr. Abdul Rahman notes that “momentum in global demand and prices of some raw materials” has recently supported Canadian exports.
Total exports rose 8.1% in January to $ 51.2 billion, with increases across all product divisions.
Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment rose 72.3% in January, as a Canadian airline, which the agency has not identified, withdrew a large number of aircraft from its fleet, leading to exports to the United States.
Meanwhile, consumer goods exports rose 11.6% in January, driven by a rise in gold bullion exports to the United States, and energy product exports rebounded, increasing by 5.9%, driven by higher prices and the volume of exports of crude oil.
For their part, total imports increased 0.9% in January to reach 49.8 billion.
In terms of volume, exports increased 5.1%, while imports increased 1%.
Energy product imports jumped 20.5%, while imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts jumped 2.9%.
Canada’s trade surplus with the United States more than doubled from December to January, from $ 2.5 billion to $ 6.2 billion. This is the highest surplus since September 2008.
Exports to the United States increased 11.3%, while imports from the southern border increased 0.4% to $ 31 billion.
Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States was $ 4.8 billion, up from $ 4.5 billion the previous month.