WRAPUP 1-Canadian exports help trim large current account gap

Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:57am EST
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* Q4 deficit dips to C$17.3 bln on export strength

* Energy, food exports help shrink deficit on trade in goods

* Industrial product prices flat for second straight month

* Raw materials prices rebound 3.8 percent

* Analysts continue to expect mediocre growth

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Canada's current account deficit narrowed in the fourth quarter of 2012 as the country exported more goods to the United States, but the gap remained near record levels and analysts maintained their glum outlook for Canadian economic growth and trade.

The current account deficit for the quarter totaled C$17.3 billion ($16.9 billion), Statistics Canada said on Thursday. That was slightly bigger than the C$17 billion forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll, and smaller than the revised C$18.04 billion gap in the third quarter.

But the shortfall remained well above year-earlier levels and uncomfortably close to the record current account deficit of C$19.4 billion posted in the third quarter of 2010.   Continued...