Blogs & Comment

Chart: Canada's trade balance back to surplus

Prior to 2009, Canada tended to record substantial trade surpluses, but since then we've recorded a trade deficit of $17.25 billion.

Statistics Canada reported that Canada had a seasonally adjusted $1.25-billion trade surplus in September 2011 after recording deficits for the last six months. The reversal was led by energy exports, which increased by 11%, rises in exports of most other sectors and a small decline in imports. Prior to 2009, Canada tended to record substantial trade surpluses. In 2008 alone, exports outpaced imports by $44.47 billion. Since then, we have recorded a trade deficit of $17.25 billion. Deficits were recorded in 22 months and surpluses in 11. The graph below shows this nicely. In the first part of 2008, the blue exports line is well above the red imports line. In the last quarter of that year, the blue line nose dives to below the red, and has mainly stayed below—that is until September of this year. Our trading economy is very dependent on the economic health of the United States, which, in September, took 71% of our exports and sent 62% of our imports.