Business

Canada swings to trade surplus in May as exports to U.S. rise to all-time record

For the first time in almost a year, Canada sold more to the world than it bought last month as the country posted a trade surplus of $762 million.
Canadian exports of of motor vehicles and parts were up 12.4 per cent in May to $8.4 billion. (Norm Betts/Bloomberg)

For the first time in almost a year, Canada sold more to the world than it bought last month as the country posted a trade surplus of $762 million.

Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that exports jumped by 4.6 per cent to $53.1 billion in June, owing largely to a surge in shipments to the U.S., especially cars and car parts, which rose by 12.4 per cent to $8.4 billion. Overall Canadian exports to the U.S. rose to a monthly record of $39.3 billion.

"The increased production was partly due to the resumption of activities at some assembly plants following atypical shutdowns in April," the data agency said.

Imports rose in May, but exports did too, to their largest level on record. (Scott Galley/CBC)

The aerospace sector also boomed, with exports jumping by 33 per cent to $2.9 billion. The energy sector shipped out five per cent more, and exports of metals and other mined products grew by 23 per cent.

On the other side of the ledger, imports rose by one per cent, to $52.3 billion. But what was coming in was eclipsed by what was going out, so the economy posted a rare trade surplus.

With the U.S. specifically, Canada's trade surplus widened to $5.9 billion, the widest gap in more than a decade.

It marks only the fourth time since oil prices plummeted in late 2014 that Canada has posted a trade surplus. Economists had been expecting a trade deficit of about $1.7 billion.

 

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