The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday, Oct. 6, edition that Canada posted a smaller-than-expected merchandise trade surplus and a widening services trade deficit in August, which combined to produce the country's first negative trade balance with the rest of the world this year. The Globe's Mark Rendell writes that the merchandise trade surplus fell to $1.5-billion in August, from $2.4-billion in July, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. Economists were expecting a $3.5-billion surplus. Goods exports declined 2.9 per cent from the previous month, while imports fell 1.7 per cent, a further sign of slowing economic growth in Canada and abroad. Meanwhile, Canada continued to import more services than it exported in August, leading to a $1.9-billion trade deficit for services that month. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce economist Andrew Grantham said in a note: "Looking ahead, a stabilization in oil prices and prospects for agricultural exports to drive some growth later in the year should see the goods surplus remain modestly in positive territory. However, with travel still having room to recover and drive a further widening of the services deficit, the overall trade balance could remain in negative territory."
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