OTTAWA: Automotive products gave Canada’s trade a boost in December, accounting for nearly two thirds of exports and more than half of the month’s imports.
Statistics Canada reports (see TABLE 1) exports were up 1.7% to $32.2 billion over November while imports increased 1.8% to $32.4 billion. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with the world grew 22.4% from $201 million to $246 million.
Export growth, the fourth monthly gain, was driven by a 2.1% increase in volumes, while prices fell 0.4 per cent. Also contributing to the growth were machinery and equipment and energy products, although industrial goods and materials declined.
Export value for the month was 8% below the value recorded in December 2008.
Imports increased to $32.4 billion from $31.9 billion in November, the result of volumes rising 1.1% and prices increasing 0.7 per cent. Imports of industrial goods and materials and energy products contributed to the growth, while machinery and equipment decreased during the month. Overall, imports remained 9.1% below the level registered in December 2008.
Led by passenger cars, exports to the US rose 2.9% to $24.1 billion, surpassing the 2% gain in imports, which put Canada’s trade surplus with the US at $3.7 billion from $3.4 billion in November.
Exports to countries other than the US fell 1.8%, while imports from these countries increased 1.5 per cent.