Canada's April Trade Surplus Narrows

Canada's April trade surplus narrowed for the first time in four months, as imports of gasoline rose and automotive exports fell.

The surplus narrowed to C$5.1 billion ($5 billion) from a revised C$5.7 billion in March, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Canadian imports of energy products soared 19 percent, due in part to ``maintenance slowdowns'' at refineries in the country, the agency said. Exports of automotive products fell 0.6 percent.

The Bank of Canada has reduced borrowing costs at every meeting since December to shore up an economy battered by a high currency and weak U.S. demand for exports such as cars and lumber.

Economists predicted the trade surplus would widen to C$5.7 billion from an initially reported C$5.5 billion, according to the median of 24 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Imports increased 2.6 percent to C$34.8 billion in April, Statistics Canada said. Exports rose 0.8 percent to C$39.9 billion, as increased shipments of crude petroleum and natural gas offset falling sales abroad of automotive products.

Measured by volume, exports fell 1 percent and imports rose 1.2 percent, the agency said.

Canada, Bloomberg
6/10/2008 6:41:01 AM