Canada recorded its first trade surplus since May 2019 in January, thanks to a sharp increase in exports, according to Statistics Canada reports Friday.
The agency says the $ 1.4 billion surplus was the largest since July 2014. It comes after a revised deficit of nearly $ 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 comes on the heels of preliminary estimates released earlier this week that GDP expanded 0.5% in January, after growing 0.1% 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, he says, this data is partly temporary due to the volatile contributions to aircraft exports and gold bars, Mr. Abdul Rahman notes that ” Pushing force In global demand and prices of some raw materials, “Canadian exports have been supported recently.
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, exports of consumer goods rose 11.6% in January, on the back of a surge in gold bullion exports to the United States.
Total exports rose 8.1% in January to $ 51.2 billion, with increases across all product divisions. 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%.
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 largest surplus since September 2008. Exports to the US increased 11.3%, while imports from the southern border increased 0.4%.
National Bank analyst Kyle Dhams noted that bilateral trade is now above pre-epidemic levels for the first time (by 2.8%). Exports are now 6.2% higher than February 2020, while imports are slightly lower (-0.6%). Compared to the United States, “Canada’s exports to its major trading partner jumped 11.3% in January, at a level not seen in 16 months.”
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