Business

Trade deficit triples to $1.9B in February

The gap between what Canada sells to the rest of the world and what it buys widened to $1.9 billion in February.

Exports slip 5.6% after record output last month

Canada's trade deficit tripled to $1.9 billion in February after a large drop in exports from a record high. (Ben Margot/ Associated Press)

The gap between what Canada sells to the rest of the world and what it buys widened to $1.9 billion in February.

Statistics Canada reported Tuesday that the trade deficit more than tripled compared to the previous month thanks in large part to a big drop in exports. 

Canada's economy exported 5.4 per cent less in February than it did in January, pushing the total value of exports down to $43.7 billion. That drop came after the figure hit an all-time high in January, however.

Scotiabank said in a commentary that the pullback was to be expected after such a booming start to the year for exporters.

"The monthly deterioration in the trade deficit was due to payback on strong numbers the month before and leaves a strong quarter intact so far," the bank said.

Exports were down in both price and volume terms.

Imports also shrunk, but not by as much, which explains the wider trade deficit. Imports fell by 2.6 per cent to $45.6 billion. The drop in imports was led by the energy sector, with imports down 30 per cent to the lowest level since September 2003, TD Bank economist Dina Ignjatovic noted.

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