OTTAWA, Ont.–In the run up to November’s US elections, Canadian merchandise exports increased by 0.5% in October in nominal terms. The growth in was supported by stronger pricing, fueled by a 1.4% depreciation in the Loonie against the US dollar in October. Overall, exports have now increased in four of the last five months, said the latest EDC Export Monitor.
On sector basis, 7 of 11 saw declines with aircraft and other transportation equipment (-4.5%) and consumer goods (-3.2%) experiencing the biggest declines. However, underneath the headline number, exports in nearly all segments of consumer goods grew in October. A 28.5% decline in the volatile pharmaceuticals and medical products weighed down the category.
The energy (5.5%), motor vehicles and parts (3.2%) and forestry products (0.4%) sectors were all contributors to Canada’s export growth in October. The growth in the automotive side continues to benefit from a stronger economy and capacity constraints in the US.
Canada’s trade balance with the world was $1.1 billion in October, which was the smallest since the start of the year. It also represented a normalization of the deficit after a one-time machinery & equipment import had blown the gap to $4.4 billion a month earlier.
Exports to the US grew by 1.6%, driven by growth in energy exports, while exports also increased to Japan (7.0%) and China (2.7%). Canada’s exports to the United Kingdom fell by nearly 23% in October due mainly to fewer shipments of precious metals.