Canada’s merchandise trade surplus unexpectedly shrank in March as exports fell for the second time in three months and imports reached a record.
The C$79 million ($72 million) March surplus followed a February estimate that almost tripled to C$847 million from an initial C$290 million, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a March surplus of C$300 million, based on the median of 16 forecasts.
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has moved from talking about raising the policy interest rate to being neutral on the direction of the next move, partly due to weakness in exports and consumer-price inflation. The economy’s recovery “hinges critically” on a shift from indebted consumers to exports and investment, which will be aided by a weaker Canadian dollar and rising U.S. orders, Poloz said April 16.