UPDATE 1-Canada current account gap widens in quarter on cheap oil

Mon Mar 2, 2015 8:38am EST
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(Explains the deterioration in the deficit, adds background)

OTTAWA, March 2 (Reuters) - Canada's current account deteriorated faster than expected in the fourth quarter to C$13.92 billion ($11.14 billion) from C$9.60 billion in the third, mostly due to lower crude oil prices, Statistics Canada data showed on Monday.

It was the biggest current account deficit in a year and exceeded the C$12.50 billion forecast after a relatively strong third quarter, which saw a third straight surplus in the trade in goods.

But that goods balance moved back into deficit in the fourth quarter with the oil price plunge, a swing of C$4.87 billion from the previous quarter's numbers. This was dominated by a C$4.25 billion fall in energy exports, largely on cheaper crude.

There were only relatively minor changes in other components of the current account. The deficit in the trade in services narrowed by C$74 million, and the deficit in investment income shrank by C$385 million.

The third quarter's current account deficit had originally been reported as the lowest since 2008 at C$8.40 billion. The revised figure of C$9.60 billion is the lowest since the third quarter of 2011. All figures are seasonally adjusted.

($1=$1.25 Canadian) (Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Bernadette Baum)