Battered by repeated hammer blows from the global oil shock, the Canadian economy has seemingly enjoyed a graceful partial recovery in the past few months as exports reached record highs.
The export sector grew for the third straight month, posting a 1.0 per cent increase to $46 billion in January 2016, Statistics Canada said in a report released on Friday (March 4). Exports to the U.S. (representing 76 per cent of the total) grew by 1.1 per cent. Volumes went up by 3.6 per cent, even as prices fell by 2.5 per cent.
In contrast, imports increased by 1.1 per cent to $46.65 billion, while volumes grew by 1.6 per cent. Prices in this sector saw a slight 0.5 per cent decline.
These despite the 17th consecutive monthly trade deficit in January, prompting experts to conclude that the low exchange rate is sowing the seeds of a major shift in Canadian energy and real estate markets.
“Today’s data was encouraging news for those looking at the depreciation in the Canadian dollar as an eventual catalyst in rotating the economy away from energy and housing, and moving it toward export growth and manufacturing investment,” CIBC Capital Markets economist Nick Exarhos told BNN News
Trade surplus with the U.S. sat at $3.7 billion as of January, while trade deficit grew to $655 million.