Exports fall, imports rise in troubling sign for economy

Global News

OTTAWA – Statistics Canada says merchandise exports declined 1.8 per cent in April, while imports increased 1.4 per cent, pushing the trade balance with the world to a deficit of $638 million from a surplus of $766 million in March.

Exports fell to $42.8 billion, as declines in exports of energy products and metal and non-metallic mineral products were partially offset by an increase in shipments of forestry products and building and packaging materials.

Imports increased for a third consecutive month to a record $43.5 billion, with gains recorded in seven of 11 sectors, led by consumer goods.

Policy makers, including the Bank of Canada, are banking a “re-balancing” of the economy from growth led by household consumption to one led by exports and business investment.

BMO economists said this week domestic demand for goods and services appears to be contracting, an indication that consumers and governments are reining in…

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