UPDATE 1-Canada trade deficit jumps in April on record imports

Tue Jun 4, 2013 8:42am EDT
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* Canada imports up by 1.2 pct, exports down 0.2 pct

* Imports hit record high; surplus with U.S. grows

* Canada has posted 16 consecutive trade deficits

OTTAWA, June 4 (Reuters) - Canada's trade deficit leapt in April as imports hit a record high and exports edged down, a further sign that exporters' woes are curbing economic growth, Statistics Canada data indicated on Tuesday.

The April deficit hit C$567 million ($550 million), slightly more than the C$550 million shortfall forecast by market operators. Statscan revised March's initial C$24 million surplus to a deficit of $3 million.

That revision means Canada has now posted 16 consecutive monthly trade deficits.

The Bank of Canada repeatedly expresses concern about the sluggish export sector, which is a major driver of the economy. Firms seeking to sell abroad are struggling to cope with a strong Canadian dollar and uncertainty in major markets such as the United States and the European Union.

Imports rose by 1.2 percent in April, the fourth consecutive month-on-month advance, to hit a record C$40.84 billion. The increase was led by imports of energy products, motor vehicles and parts.   Continued...