Canada Post current account surplus in first quarter, first in over 12 years – Update

By Paul Vieira

OTTAWA – For the first time since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis and global recession, Canada posted a quarterly current account surplus. The surplus for the first three months of 2021 was due to a surge in exports, especially crude oil and lumber.

The country’s current account, or the broadest indicator of Canada’s trade and investment relations with other countries, posted a surplus of C $ 1.18 billion ($ 980 million), said Monday. Statistics Canada. The market consensus was in favor of a deficit of C $ 2.5 billion, according to Desjardins Securities.

Data for the previous quarter has been revised and now shows that Canada’s current account deficit for the last three months of 2020 was C $ 5.27 billion, lower than the original amount of $ 7.26 billion. Canadian.

For most of the 2000s, Canada ran a double current and trade surplus, as the economy benefited from soaring commodity prices. But since the 2008 financial crisis, Canada’s current account has been in deficit territory. This reflected the failure of the country’s non-energy exports to recover from the crisis and a slowdown in investment following the collapse in oil prices from 2014.

The Canadian economy is now benefiting from rising commodity prices since the depths of the coronavirus-induced recession. The Bank of Canada’s Commodity Price Index is now at a level it had never seen at the end of 2014, or before the drop in crude oil prices.

These higher commodity prices helped trade in goods and services in the first quarter to register its first positive balance since 2008. Energy and forestry products were the main contributors.

In a separate statement, Statistics Canada said the prices of raw materials used by manufacturers rose 1.0% in April from the previous month and jumped more than 56% year-on-year, the largest annual increase. never recorded since 1981.

Write to Paul Vieira at [email protected]

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Natalee Broderick

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