U.S. trade deficit narrows in March

Canada trade deficit narrows sharply as energy, consumer exports surge

The U.S. trade deficit eased very slightly in March as services exports growth outstripped a decline in exports, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced.

Canada's trade surplus with the USA narrowed to $4 billion in March (previously $4.5 billion), while its deficit with the rest of the world narrowed to $4.1 billion (previously $5.6 billion). At the same time, exports to the European Union and South Korea rose to records, while shipments to Germany were the highest since 2008.

Imports of goods and services slipped 0.7 percent to $234.7 billion.

Imports of motor vehicles and parts also reached a record high in March, in part due to strong Canadian demand for trucks that is expected to have continued in April.

But a four-year record for Japanese imports, valued at $13.3 billion, saw the USA deficit with that country hit its highest level since April 2008 at $7.6 billion.

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The total trade deficit on goods and services was -$43.7bn in March, down from -$43.8bn in the month before, according to the Department of Commerce.

Exports of energy products gained 7.0 per cent to $8.7 billion, while consumer goods were up 6.8 per cent to $6.1 billion.

Statistics Canada said on Thursday that the value of exports jumped by 3.8 percent to C$46.98 billion as volumes increased by 2.5 percent and prices grew by 1.3 percent.

Imports from Mexico hit US$28.1 billion, their highest on record, pushing the deficit with the southern neighbor to its highest level in almost 10 years.

President Donald Trump was elected on a pledge to reduce America's trade deficits, which he blames on unfair trade practices by China and other countries. Energy products rose 7.0 per cent, pushed up by higher natural gas flows to the United States and a spike in exports of coal to Asia that coincided with a slowdown in Australian production caused by a cyclone.

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