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Trade deficit narrowed to $955M in August as Canada sold more oil and jets

Trade deficit narrowed to $955M in August as Canada sold more oil and jets

The gap between what Canada buys from the rest of the world and what it sells narrowed to just under $1 billion in August, as higher exports of energy and aircraft drove exports to more than $50 billion.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that Canada’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $955 million in August, down from $1.4 billion the previous month as exports rose by 1.8 per cent while imports only increased by 1 per cent.

Canada exported just shy of $50.6 billion during the month. That’s the fifth highest monthly total ever, which was set in May when the country saw a surge in car and car part exports.

So far in 2019, total exports are on track to be 2.4 per cent higher than they were last year.

Exports of energy products led the way, with crude oil up 2.9 per cent after two straight monthly declines. Exports of nuclear fuel more than doubled during the month, while refined petroleum products increased by 13 per cent from July’s level.

Aircraft exports also surged, up 38.7 per cent mainly because of a flurry of business jet sales to the U.S.

While they were a source of strength earlier in the year, exports of cars and car parts declined by 2.3 per cent. Car and truck exports were lower “as a result of prolonged summer shutdowns at certain assembly plants,” the data agency said.