Canada's trade divide: everything's fine, nothing to see here

Canada's latest trade numbers show exports and imports are both up, but if you drill down and tease out the energy numbers, you get a different picture.

Check out this graph created by Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. It shows "there is energy (doing just fine) and there is everything else (doing anything but fine)."

The trade deficit in all non-energy goods "continues to plumb the depths. While improving slightly in September to a gap of $6.7 billion, the 12-month total hit a record of $72.9 billion (or nearly 4% of GDP). As recently as 2007, non-energy merchandise trade was in a surplus. That is a massive deterioration in a short period..."

Trade balance
Source: BMO Nesbitt Burns

For another take on this imbalance, check out the newest report from the Pembina Institute and Equiterre.

Photo: shannonpatrick17. Used under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.

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