US trade deficit narrows in March

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Exports to countries other than the USA rose 15.3% in March to a record-high $12.6 billion.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $43.7 billion in March, down $0.1 billion from revised value of $43.8 billion in February.

Canada's trade surplus with the US 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).

Imports from the United States - Canada's largest trading partner, by far - were up two percent, while exports to the U.S. edged down a fraction of a percentage point.

For the first three months of the year, the trade gap 7.5 per cent higher than the same period in 2016. Imports were also down, falling 0.7 per cent to US$234.7 billion.

The report also said the goods deficit widened to $65.5 billion in March from $65.2 billion in February, while the services surplus widened to $21.8 billion from $21.4 billion.

The trade gap slipped 0.1 per cent in March to US$43.7 billion, seasonally-adjusted.

Imports from countries other than the U.S. also increased, up 1.2 per cent, on higher purchases of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, and goods from Britain.

President Donald Trump is poised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which links Canada, Mexico and the United States, and has threatened to pull out unless the USA gets a favorable deal.

Gains in eight of 11 sectors in March helped exports rise 3.8 per cent to $47.0 billion, while volumes gained 2.5 per cent and prices increased 1.3 per cent.

Imports grew 1.7 percent to C$47.11 billion on higher inward flows of metal and non-metallic mineral products, particularly unwrought gold from Japan. For all of past year, the gap exceeded $500 billion.