Canadian export confidence edges up in first half of 2013

Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:59am EDT
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* Canadian exporters' index rises to 72.6 from 70.7

* Exporters more confident about global markets

OTTAWA, June 27 (Reuters) - Canadian exporter confidence, which the country's new central bank chief says is a prerequisite for full economic recovery, edged up in the first half of 2013, Canada's export credit agency said on Thursday.

Export Development Canada's (EDC) trade confidence index rose to 72.6 in the first half of 2013 from 70.7 in the second half of 2012 due largely to a more positive assessment of the U.S. and European economies, the agency said in a statement.

Exports account for around 30 percent of Canada's gross domestic product. Since the start of the recession exporters have struggled to cope with weak foreign markets and a strong Canadian dollar.

New Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz - who was previously head of EDC - said earlier this month that once U.S. demand for Canadian goods picks up, business confidence will build, prompting more investment and ultimately a proper economic recovery.

Canada sends around 74 percent of its exports to the United States.

The EDC survey found that of companies already exporting to the United States, 80 percent said orders had increased or remained the same during the past six months, compared with 75 percent last fall.

The proportion of companies that were "very ready" to compete with the Canadian dollar at parity with the U.S. dollar rose to 55 percent from 46 percent six months ago. Those reporting they were "moderately ready" fell to 41 percent from 49 percent.

The survey is based on 760 responses to a telephone survey carried out from April 15 to 26.