Statistics Canada reports trade deficit shrank to $3.2 billion in March

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade deficit shrank in March as exports, led by the energy sector, rose faster than imports.

The agency says the deficit for March amounted to $3.2 billion compared with $3.4 billion in February.

Economists had expected a deficit of $2.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The change came as Canadian exports rose 3.2 per cent to $49.0 billion as exports of energy products rose 7.7 per cent to $9.6 billion in March and motor vehicles and parts gained 5.6 per cent at $7.7 billion.

Meanwhile, imports rose 2.5 per cent to $52.3 billion, as consumer goods posted the largest increase.

Imports of consumer goods rose 6.7 per cent in March to a record $10.9 billion, boosted by imports of clothing, footwear and accessories. Imports of motor vehicles and parts rose 4.9 per cent to $9.9 billion.