Good start for Q3 as trade deficit narrows to $469M in June

TD Economics stronger US outlook to drive exports and real growth.

Merchandise exports grow 1.4% June.

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the country’s trade deficit narrowed to $469 million in June compared with $781 million in May.

The agency says merchandise exports grew 1.4% to $39.6 billion, helped by precious metals, passenger cars and light trucks as well as aircraft.

Volumes were up 2.1%, while prices slipped 0.6%.

Meanwhile, imports increased 0.6% in June to $40 billion, pushed higher by imports of oil and bitumen and aircraft. Prices of imports grew 1.1%, while volumes decreased 0.5%.

Exports to the US grew 1.5% to $29.4 billion, while imports from the US declined 0.8% to $25.6 billion.

Imports from countries other than the US increased 3.3% to $14.5 billion, while exports to countries other than the US were up 1.4% to $10.2 billion.

TD Economics said in a bulletin that the results set Canada up well for the third quarter of the year, but even the substantial gain in real terms is unlikely to offset the weakness in April and May.

“When GDP data are released for the second quarter later this month, we expect the report to reveal that exports exerted a slight drag on overall growth, which we anticipate to be around 1.5% on an annualized basis,” said TD economist Francis Fong.

However, Fong said the future is brighter with a stronger outlook for the US economy translating into a better export profile, driving real growth above trend in the second half of the year to an annualized 2% to 2.5% on a quarterly basis.

© 2013 The Canadian Press