Economy

Canada trade deficit unchanged; exports and imports both drop

The U.S. trade deficit widened in September, reflecting imports increasing to the highest level since January.

Exports fell by 0.3 percent to C$43.56 billion.

The foreign-trade gap in goods and services expanded 1.7% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $43.50 billion in September, the Commerce Department said Friday. Conventional economists argue that trade deficits are largely caused not by flawed trade agreements or cheating by particular countries but by a bigger economic force: Americans spend more than they produce, and imports have to fill in the gap. But that gain was overwhelmed by a $65.4 billion deficit in the trade of goods.

There were increases in exports of industrial supplies and materials. It was the third straight quarterly contribution to gross domestic product.

At the same time, though, Americans continue to imports more goods from other countries than those countries import from the U.S. Partly that reflects a better-performing U.S. economy.

The department said while it could not isolate the impact of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria on the trade data, the effects were "embedded in source data".

Excluding the auto sector, exports rose by 1.8 percent in September.

US exports of goods to the United Kingdom hit a record high even though it costs more for the U.K. because of a weaker pound. But imports rose more: up 1.2 per cent to $240.3 billion. Since Statscan started compiling trade data in 1946, exports and imports never both declined for four months in a row. Imports of non-petroleum imports were the highest since March 2015.

Imports of goods from China slipped 0.8 percent.

The volume of trade has grown this year because both the USA and global economies are expanding at near the best paces since the global recession ended in 2009.



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