Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with the world widened in December to $649 million, as imports rose faster than exports. That was a lower deficit than many economists had expected, but an increase from the revised $335 million recorded in November, according to Statistics Canada.
Imports rose 2.3% to $44.7 billion, with a sharp increase in motor vehicles and parts and energy products. But the export numbers were surprisingly positive, up 1.5% to $44.1 billion for December despite falling oil prices. It was expected that Canada would earn much less from its exports to close out 2014.
“The expected decline in energy exports resulting from the more than 50% decline in oil prices since last summer was more than offset by stronger exports of manufactured goods and mineral products,” said TD economist Brian DePratto in a note to clients. “Moreover, strong import demand across most categories indicates that domestic demand is likely to have remained fairly strong in the fourth quarter of 2014,” he said. Click here to read more.