The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that Canada posted its first quarterly current account surplus in 13 years thanks to surging exports, particularly of lumber and energy products. The Globe's Mark Rendell writes that Statistics Canada reported a $1.2-billion surplus for the first three months of 2021, up from a revised deficit of $5.3-billion in the fourth quarter of 2020. The current account measures Canada's balance of trade with the rest of the world. This swing into positive territory, the first since 2008, was supported by strengthening commodity prices. Energy exports were up $6.8-billion in the quarter, as the price of oil climbed to prepandemic levels and the price of natural gas surged after the winter storms and power outages across the Southern United States in February. The export of forestry products rose by $1.4-billion on ballooning lumber prices. "The goods trade balance returned to a modest deficit in March, but we expect another (smaller) surplus for Q2 as global economies reopened and commodity prices continued to move higher," wrote Bank of Montreal economist Shelly Kaushik. Travel restrictions have hurt Canadian tourism businesses, but they have also limited Canadian spending abroad.
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