Trade deficit widens to $940 million
Gap between what Canada imports and exports expands to nearly $1 billion
Canada's trade gap expanded from $908 million to $940 million as the country imported more from the rest of the world while exporting the same amount of goods and services.
The expanded trade deficit comes on top of a revision for the previous month. The data agency originally announced a $75 million surplus for October before revising that to a $908 million deficit due to lower than expected oil prices.
Statistics Canada reported Tuesday that imports edged up to $40.7 billion while exports remained unchanged at $39.8 billion.
The deficit was more than nine times as large as what economists were expecting. A consensus of economists polled by Bloomberg had been anticipating the figure to come in at a deficit of roughly $100 million for the month.
Trade served as a drag on the economy in November- Scotiabank
"The Bank of Canada’s hoped for rotation of growth toward an export-led recovery remains elusive with another downside disappointment," Scotiabank economists Derek Holt and Dov Ziegler said in a note to clients after the release of the data. "The net implication is that trade served as a drag on the economy in November."
Canada imported significantly fewer energy products during the month, as they were down 16.3 per cent to $2.9 billion for the month. Imports of crude oil and crude bitumen in particular decreased for a third consecutive month, down 24.9 per cent to $1.5 billion in November on lower volumes and prices.
On the other side of the ledger, Canada also shipped out less energy products — down 1.6 per cent to $9.3 billion. Crude oil and crude bitumen specifically fell by two per cent to $6.7 billion, a third consecutive decrease after reaching a record high in August 2013.
Canada has now posted a trade deficit for 23 consecutive months. That's the longest uninterrupted streak of deficits in almost a generation.
Historically, Canada posted trade surpluses more often than it did deficits on a month to month basis. But since the recession that began in 2009, the economy has been posting far more negative figures than surplus months.