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DJ Canada Trade Deficit Narrows in December to C$1.67 Billion -- Update

· 02/05/2021 09:29

By Kim Mackrael

OTTAWA--Canada's trade deficit in merchandise goods narrowed in December, led by higher exports of energy products and a decline in imports of consumer goods.

Statistics Canada said Friday that Canada's deficit in the global trade of merchandise goods in December came in at 1.67 billion Canadian dollars, or the equivalent of $1.3 billion. Market expectations were for a C$3.1 billion deficit, according to economists at Bank of Nova Scotia.

The previous month's trade deficit was slightly revised to C$3.56 billion versus the earlier estimate of C$3.34 billion.

Meanwhile, in a separate release, the data agency said the Canadian economy lost 212,800 jobs in January and the unemployment rate rose to 9.4%. That marked a second consecutive month of job losses following the introduction of tougher economic restrictions in many parts of the country to limit the spread of Covid-19.

December's trade report shows that exports rose 1.5% on a nominal basis in December, with energy products recording the largest increase. Imports declined 2.3%, mainly because of lower imports of consumer goods.

In volume, or price-adjusted, terms, exports increased 0.5% in December and imports fell 1.5%.

For 2020 as a whole, Canada posted a cumulative trade deficit of C$36.2 billion, more than double the deficit that was recorded the previous year. Total merchandise exports fell 12.3% in 2020, and imports declined 8.6%.

Write to Kim Mackrael at kim.mackrael@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 09:29 ET (14:29 GMT)

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