Business

Canada's trade deficit shrank to $3.2 billion in March, StatsCan reports

Statistics Canada says the country's merchandise trade deficit shrank in March as exports — led by the energy sector — rose faster than imports.

Led by the energy sector, exports rose faster than imports

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in in Halifax on August 25, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $3.2 billion in March. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canada Press)

Statistics Canada says the country's merchandise trade deficit shrank in March as exports — led by the energy sector — rose faster than imports.

The agency says the deficit for March amounted to $3.2 billion compared with $3.4 billion in February.

Economists had expected a deficit of $2.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The change came as Canadian exports rose 3.2 per cent to $49.0 billion as exports of energy products rose 7.7 per cent to $9.6 billion in March and motor vehicles and parts gained 5.6 per cent at $7.7 billion.

Meanwhile, imports rose 2.5 per cent to $52.3 billion, as consumer goods posted the largest increase.

Imports of consumer goods rose 6.7 per cent in March to a record $10.9 billion, boosted by imports of clothing, footwear and accessories. Imports of motor vehicles and parts rose 4.9 per cent to $9.9 billion.