Developments on trade as Trump heads to Canada for summit
Developments on trade as Trump heads to Canada for summit
Canada’s Trade Deficit Narrows to Six-Month Low
08 June, 2018, 19:10
But for the year, the deficit is still up 11.5 percent from a year ago despite President Donald Trump's vow to close the gap through new tariffs on imports and renegotiated trade deals.
Economists had expected a deficit of $3.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.
The trade deficit in goods with China widened 8.1 percent to $28 billion in April.
The report also showed a modest decrease in the value of imports, which edged down by 0.2 percent to $257.4 billion in April from $257.9 billion in March.
"One is hard-pressed as to not concur that the U.S. economy not only remains on solid footing, but is likely to show an accelerated pace of growth in the second quarter", said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Economists say that tariffs will do little to shrink the trade deficit, partly because of the dollar's status as the global reserve currency and the low USA savings rate, including a fiscal deficit that has been blown up by a $1.5 trillion tax cut package.
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Imports of goods decreased 0.3% to $209.5 billion. Deficit narrowed by almost half CAD 1.9 billion. She added: "If Trump is serious about reducing our trade deficit, then he must stay focused on changing China's unfair trade practices, not settle for the usual Chinese promises to buy more US exports".
"The recently imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel, together with retaliatory Canadian tariffs, will likely hold back movement of metals and metal products across the border and be a drag on economic activity - particularly in Quebec and Ontario". Talks to head off a trade war between the world's two largest economies have so far failed to produce a resolution, even though China has offered to step up purchases of USA farm and energy products. Exports advanced 1.6 per cent, the sixth gain in the past seven months.
Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said the narrower trade deficit in April means that net trade should provide another small boost to GDP growth in the second quarter. They were in April supported by a $1.3 billion increase in deliveries of industrial supplies and materials such as fuel oil and petroleum products.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected May shipments from the world's largest exporter to have risen 10.0 percent on year, compared with a revised 12.7 percent gain in April.
The value of Canadian building permits fell 4.6 per cent in April from March, the biggest drop in five months. Labor costs rose at a rate of 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
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It shows the growing severity of the issue
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