Canada Current Account Gap Widens Less than Expected


Canada's current account gap increased to CAD 16.3 billion in second quarter of 2017 from a downwardly revised CAD 12.9 billion in the previous period, lower than market expectations of a CAD 17.4 billion shortfall. The goods deficit widened as imports rose the most in nine years, led by motor vehicles and parts.

The goods balance posted a CAD 5.2 billion deficit, following a CAD 2 billion deficit. Total exports of goods rose CAD 4.4 billion to CAD 143.3 billion. Metal and non-metallic mineral products, led by precious metals, were up CAD 1.4 billion and motor vehicles and parts advanced CAD 1.3 billion due to stronger exports of passenger cars and light trucks. Moderating these gains was a decline in exports of energy products of CAD 0.7 billion, as lower crude petroleum prices more than offset higher volumes. Total imports of goods were up CAD 7.7 billion to CAD 148.5 billion in the second quarter, the largest quarterly growth in nine years, with widespread gains throughout commodity sectors. Among the largest rises, consumer goods rose CAD 1.2 billion due to higher prices and motor vehicles products saw a record increase of CAD 1.0 billion, namely parts.

On a geographical basis, the goods surplus with the United States was reduced by CAD 1.5 billion to CAD 10.4 billion, after three straight quarters of increases. Meanwhile, the deficit with non-US countries increased CAD 1.8 billion, mainly reflecting a higher deficit with China.

The services deficit narrowed CAD 0.2 billion to CAD 5.5 billion, as the commercial services trade surplus was higher. Imports of commercial services edeged down CAD 0.1 billion while exports were up. For transport services, receipts and payments both increased by CAD 0.2 billion. Receipts and payments on travel services were both up slightly. There was lower spending by Canadians travelling to the United States in the quarter, but higher payments on visits to other countries.

The investment income deficit, the difference between incomes generated on Canada's international assets and liabilities, grew CAD 0.5 billion to CAD 4.6 billion in the second quarter. Interest and dividend paid to non-residents on their holdings of Canadian securities were up CAD 0.7 billion, led by higher payments on corporate bonds. There were also higher interest payments on loans and deposits held in Canada by non-residents. On the receipts side, profits earned by Canadian direct investors on their assets abroad were up CAD 0.6 billion, moderating the overall increase in the investment income deficit in the quarter.

Statistics Canada | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com
8/30/2017 1:41:12 PM