(Makes clear in first para that imports grew faster than exports)
OTTAWA, March 4 (Reuters) - Canada’s trade deficit edged up to C$655 million ($489 million) in January from C$631 million in December as imports grew slightly more than exports, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a shortfall of C$1.05 billion. January marked the 17th consecutive monthly trade deficit, reflecting the continuing economic damage caused by low oil prices.
Exports grew for the third consecutive month, rising by 1.0 percent to a record C$46.00 billion on higher shipments of consumer goods and motor vehicles and parts. Export volumes jumped 3.6 percent while prices dropped by 2.5 percent.
Imports climbed 1.1 percent to C$46.65 billion as nine of 11 sections increased, with gains in motor vehicles and other parts being offset by a decline in aircraft and other transportation and parts. Volumes expanded by 1.6 percent while prices fell 0.5 percent.
Exports to the United States, which accounted for 76.0 percent of Canada’s global total in January, increased by 2.6 percent while imports grew by 1.1 percent.
As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States grew to C$3.70 billion from C$3.13 billion in December.
Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by W Simon