Canada reported a small trade surplus in February for the first time in five months as exports bounced to their highest since before the recession in 2008, welcome news for the central bank which is betting on a long-overdue recovery in the sector.
The trade surplus totaled C$290-million ($264-million), Statistics Canada said on Thursday, against forecasts for a C$200-million surplus and rebounding from a deficit of C$337-million in January.
Imports jumped 2.1 per cent in the month to an all-time high of C$42.06-billion, thanks to energy products, autos and machinery and equipment. But they were overshadowed by a 3.6 per cent surge in exports to C$42.35-billion on motor vehicles and parts and crude oil and bitumen.
The last time exports were above that level was in August 2008, following a historic peak in July of that year.
Exports to the United States, by far Canada’s biggest market, shot up 4.4 per cent in February and also hit the highest level since July 2008.
Overall exports in February grew 2.2 per cent in volume and prices rose 1.4 per cent.
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has been puzzled by the country’s poor export performance despite a gradual rise in demand from the U.S. market. On March 18, Poloz said he’d seen no evidence yet that a recent depreciation of the Canadian dollar was having any effect on the trade sector.
via Globe andMail
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