March 1, 2017 / 1:40 PM / in 7 months

Canada fourth-quarter current account deficit narrows sharply to C$10.73 billion

A tugboat pulling a transport truck on a barge crosses the harbour beside the container port in Vancouver, British Columbia June 8, 2012. REUTERS/Andy Clark

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s current account deficit in the fourth quarter narrowed sharply to C$10.73 billion ($8.07 billion), its lowest in more than five years, thanks largely to rising exports, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a C$9.75 billion deficit. The shortfall was the lowest since C$10.17 billion recorded in the third quarter of 2011.

For 2016 as a whole, the current account deficit hit a second consecutive annual high, edging up to C$67.70 billion from C$67.55 billion in 2015.

The balance on international trade in goods in the fourth quarter posted a surplus of C$793 million, the first since the third quarter of 2014.

Exports, a key part of the Bank of Canada’s economic outlook, jumped by C$6.29 billion to C$136.55 billion. Energy products were the major contributor to export growth, benefiting from both higher prices and volumes.

The deficit on trade in services dipped slightly to C$5.46 billion while foreign investment in Canadian securities totaled C$33.26 billion.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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