Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Goods & Services Deficit Widened to $48.7 Billion in October

Goods & Services Deficit Widened to $48.7 Billion in October

Canada's trade deficit with the rest of the world shrunk significantly in October, as exports rebounded after four straight months of declines.

The trade deficit increased to the highest since January and was above expectations of a Reuters poll of economists who had predicted the October deficit would stand at $47.5 billion.

Statistics Canada said Tuesday that exports increased 2.7 per cent as imports fell 1.6 per cent for the month, shrinking the country's trade deficit compared with the $3.4-billion shortfall in September. The widening in trade deficit was mainly driven by stronger than expected rise in imports, which grew 1.6 percent sequentially, while growth in exports stayed flat.

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Exports to China, meanwhile, were the highest in nearly four years, at US$13 billion.

The U.S. crude oil imports rose to $10.664 billion in October from $9.131 billion in September.

The trade deficit for the month was pushed by rising oil prices, as well as record imports from China ahead of the holiday shopping season, the Commerce Department said in its monthly report.

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Increased volumes of goods imports accounted for the bulk of the worsening, rising by $3.5bn to reach $199.4bn, with those of crude oil jumping by $1.5bn.

Trump, who has been highly critical of the USA trade deficit with China, shifted responsibility for the gap to previous US administrations for failing to crack down on China amid widening trade gaps.

It was the second straight month in which the USA trade gap widened, driven in part by goods imported from China of US$48.2 billion, an all-time high, bringing the United States trade deficit with that country to US$31.9 billion. USA exports to China increased $2.2 billion to $13.0 billion, primarily driven by soybeans and crude oil.

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Imports of goods also increased from Mexico to US$28.7 billion and from the European Union to US$39.4 billion.

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