The Canadian trade deficit was $370 million in April, a number dramatically higher than economists expected.
A recent Bloomberg survey had shown a median estimate of just a $20 million trade deficit for the previous month.
In addition to the higher than expected April figure, the trade deficits for March and February were also much worse than expected. The March figure was revised from $135 million to $936 million, while the February figure was raised from $1.08 billion to $1.41 billion.
Strangely, the March deficit increased in part due to increased imports of bitumen and crude oil – which is a clear sign of how we are failing to take advantage of our own oil resources. The idea that we are importing oil from other countries is absurd.
While some economists predict Canadian exports will increase, the large trade deficit is another sign of weakness in the Canadian economy. As I recently wrote, “Canada’s economic “growth” is based on an incredibly weak foundation. Rising household debt is being pushed even higher by the rising burden of taxes, while the government goes further and further into debt. Meanwhile, wages are stagnant – and actually falling below the rate of inflation.”
The evidence of serious issues at the core of our economy is adding up. Until the government abandons controlling, big-government policies, the Canadian economy will continue to become more fragile and vulnerable to crisis.