Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade deficit increased to $3.2 billion in December as rising imports outpaced export growth — defying expectations that the deficit would be smaller than in November.
Economists had expected a deficit of $2.2 billion, down from $2.7 billion in November, according to Thomson Reuters.
Total imports increased 1.5 per cent to a record $49.7 billion in December, boosted by higher imports of energy products and industrial machinery, equipment and parts.
Imports of energy products increased 16.9 per cent to $3.0 billion in December, while industrial machinery, equipment and parts climbed 6.3 per cent to $5.0 billion.
Meanwhile, total exports rose 0.6 per cent to $46.5 billion driven by higher exports of energy products and metal and non-metallic mineral products.
Exports of energy products rose 6.2 per cent to $8.5 billion, while metal and non-metallic mineral products climbed 7.7 per cent to $5.6 billion.