Published: Thu, May 04, 2017
Business | By Pat Ferguson

US trade deficit narrows in March

US trade deficit narrows in March

Imports of goods and services slipped 0.7 percent to $234.7 billion.

Imports were up for a fourth consecutive month, increasing 1.7 percent to Can$47.1 billion in March.

Exports of energy products gained 7.0 per cent to $8.7 billion, while consumer goods were up 6.8 per cent to $6.1 billion.

Even with the cooling of exports and imports during the month, the outlook for global trade looks relatively stable. Exports of other food products led the increase with a gain of 11.9 per cent to a record $1.4 billion, boosted by exports of yellow peas and red lentils to India. Exports increased 7.1 percent, in the time Imports increased 7.1 percent. What might Trump target next?

Going forward, the recent momentum in exports should continue, as the Canadian dollar remains under pressure - the loonie fell below 73 United States cents this week for the first time in over a year - and economic activity in the U.S.is set to pick up after a slow start to the year.

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Metal and non-metallic mineral product imports grew 10.4 per cent to $4.0 billion as unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys rose 61.1 per cent.

While exports of industrial supplies and materials and passenger cars saw substantial decreases, exports of civilian aircraft engines and telecom equipment increased.

As a result Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed from 4.5 billion dollar in February to 4.0 billion dollar in March.

Exports to the United States edged up 0.1 per cent to $34.4 billion, while imports from the United States increased 2.0 per cent to $30.4 billion.

Energy exports were up seven per cent, led by increased natural gas sales to the United States attributable to "unusually low temperatures in the northeastern U.S. in March", and more coal shipments to Japan, China and South Korea, the agency said.

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