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Canada posts second trade surplus in three months

Published by Steve Coleman on January 13, 2012

Canada posted a trade surplus for the second time in three months last November.

The mix between exports and imports fell on the plus side for a second time in 2011 with a $1.1 billion climb into the black. Exports increased 3.2 per cent, while imports fell 0.8 per cent.

Most of the sectors counted for the final number saw increases during the month as the total value for November rose to $40.1 billion. Energy products helped lead the charge with a 1.7 per cent price increase. Auto parts led the volume side of the equation with a 1.6 per cent increase.

Both prices and volumes fell on the import side to $39 billion. Fewer automotive parts, industrial goods and materials crossing into Canada lowered the amount spent. Canadians buying more energy products helped cushion the drop.

Canada's largest trading partner spent more, too. The country's trade surplus with the US increased from $3.5 billion in October to $4.6 billion in November. Exports to the United States rose 1.9 per cent to $28.6 billion with energy products leading the way. Imports from the United States declined two per cent to $24.0 billion, largely the result of lower automotive product imports.

Statistics Canada says exports to the rest of the world increased 6.7 per cent to $11.5 billion as European Union countries bought more. Imports from countries other than the United States climbed 1.3 per cent to $15 billion, the fourth-straight monthly gain.

When it comes to the bottom line with the rest of the world, Canada is still running a trade deficit. The margin shrank from $4 billion in October to $3.5 billion in November.

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