Trade Gives Canadian Economy Big Boost

Signs indicate that the Canadian economy may grow faster than expected. In March, a 5.1 percent jump in exports helped produce the country’s first trade surplus in a year, and the largest jump since March 2011. The unexpected surplus totaled $24 million-- a sharp contrast to the projected $720 million shortfall.

Canada's last trade surplus clocked in at a modest $45-million in March of 2012. The nation's export sector is a major driver of the Canadian economy, and has recently struggled with a strong Canadian dollar and weak international markets. However, shipping to the USA from Canada has been a major part of trade-- as the United States recovers economically, it imports more and more Canadian goods and raw materials, leading to the blooming economic growth. Additionally, energy exports grew by 3.9 percent, and shipments of motor vehicles and parts increased by 6.1 percent.

Export Development Canada's chief economist Peter Hall said the export figures reflected the U.S. economy's slow recovery from Superstorm Sandy, which hit the eastern seaboard in late October, and fears over the impact of wrangling over the budget. Hall stated that the spread of the 5.1 percent increase across a broad spectrum of industry shows that the growth is not a flash in the pan, and will continue at a likely accelerated pace.

“This is a report that illustrates what we’ve been trying to say for an awfully long period of time, and that is that fundamental underlying growth in the United States is very strong,” Hall said.

Exports to the United States comprised 72.8 percent of all Canadian exports in March, and grew by 4 percent. Canadian imports, in the meantime, increased by 2 percent, increasing the trade surplus with the United States to $3.82-billion from $3.18-billion in February. As a major producer of raw inputs (energy and materials) for the US’s manufacturing sector, a healthy US economy brings growth in the Canadian economy which increases the consumption of goods and services by Canadians. This is great news for companies who sell internationally between Canada and the US. CSA welcomes the opportunity to answer any questions you may have about cross border shipping and can provide competitive LTL freight rates on shipping from the US to Canada, or shipping from Canada to the US.

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