StatsCan reports third straight quarterly surplus in Q3

By James Langton | November 29, 2021 | Last updated on November 29, 2021
2 min read
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Canada recorded its third consecutive current account surplus in the third quarter, with international receipts exceeding payments by $1.4 billion, Statistics Canada reported on Monday.

“The surplus in the third quarter was unchanged from the second quarter but reflected a higher trade in goods surplus, largely offset by a lower investment income surplus,” StatsCan said.

The string of quarterly surpluses this year follows a series of deficits that started alongside the global financial crisis in 2008 and continued until the end of 2020.

“Canada’s balance of payments with the rest of the world remained healthy in Q3 as the current account surplus was unchanged, marking the longest streak in positive territory since it shifted into deficit in 2008,” said BMO Capital Markets in a research note.

Led by higher goods exports, trade in goods and services recorded a surplus of $1.8 billion in the third quarter.

The largest contributor to exports was energy products, which saw the value of exports rise on both higher prices and volumes.

“Overall, the strength in commodities has helped fuel six months of surpluses so far in the year, the highest since 2014,” BMO said. “We’ll be keeping an eye on October’s goods trade balance next week to see how the ongoing strength in prices supports trade activity.”

Imports of goods also rose in the third quarter, as autos and auto parts imports increased, “but remained lower than their pre-pandemic levels as supply issues for semiconductor chips continue to affect this industry,” StatsCan said.

At the same time, the services sector deficit rose in the quarter, StatsCan reported.

“Look for modest surpluses to continue in the coming quarters, until borders reopen more fully and Canadians resume spending their dollars abroad at the same pace as before the pandemic,” BMO said.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.