Exports of cars, trucks, forestry products, and building materials all declined.
In December, Canadian exports hit a record-high (which is to be expected quite often considering yearly population growth).
Yet, those numbers came back down to earth in January.
According to Stats Canada, exports fell a full 2.1% in January, a decline led by the fall in car & truck shipments, in addition to declines in forestry products and building materials – which fell 6.6%.
It was the largest fall in exports since July of 2017.
As reported by Reuters, the fall could lead to weak GDP numbers:
‘”There’s reason to expect an even more cautious tone from the Bank of Canada,” said Andrew Grantham of CIBC Economics, adding in a note to clients that the weakness in exports was a bad indicator for monthly GDP.”
Canada’s trade deficit declined in January, due to an even bigger drop in imports (-4.3%). While a lower trade deficit is a good thing, its not a good sign when both imports and exports fall in the same month.
While the export decline was based in part on “transitory factors” including temporary plant closures, the decline of both imports and exports comes at the same time as GDP is slowing, and worries over trade continue to mount.
Meanwhile, the 2018 federal budget included no measures to strengthen our ability to compete. Instead, the government is more interest in virtue-signalling while the economic warnings keep getting more and more concerning.