Trade deficit narrowed in May as exports rose and imports fell again

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed in May as exports and oil prices climbed while imports fell.

The agency says the deficit contracted to $677 million in May compared with a deficit of $4.3 billion in April when exports and imports both plunged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total exports rose 6.7 per cent in May to reach $34.6 billion, however Statistics Canada noted that they were down 34.1 per cent compared with a year ago.

Meanwhile, imports fell 3.9 per cent in May to $35.3 billion, despite the partial reopening of the economy.

Imports were down by nearly a third compared with year ago.

In volume terms, exports were up 3.8 per cent in May, while imports fell 6.7 per cent.