Canada just racked up a record trade deficit as the value of

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade deficit grew to a record $4.6 billion in December as lower crude oil prices prompted a drop in exports.The result followed a trade deficit of $2.0 billion in November.Exports were down 3.8 per cent to $46.3 billion in December. We’re getting a look at the true state of Canada’s economy — and it’s no world beater Canada’s economy practically grinds to a halt — and nobody saw it coming Stephen Poloz’s dashboard: The latest charts that matter most to the Bank of Canada Exports of energy products fell 21.7 per cent to $6.4 billion in December, the lowest level since July 2016. Excluding energy products, exports were essentially unchanged in December.Total imports rose 1.6 per cent to $50.9 billion in December.Imports of energy products rose 19.7 per cent to $3.3 billion while imports of motor vehicles and parts were up 4.0 per cent to $9.4 billion in December. read more

US budget deficit jumps to 1492 billion in July because of calendar

by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Aug 12, 2015 12:02 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 12, 2015 at 1:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US budget deficit jumps to $149.2 billion in July because of calendar quirk WASHINGTON – The U.S. government ran a much higher budget deficit in July than a year ago, but it’s still on track for the lowest full-year deficit in eight years.The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the July deficit totalled $149.2 billion, up from a deficit of $94.6 billion a year earlier. The deterioration stemmed mainly from the fact that Aug. 1 fell on a Saturday. As a result, the government paid out $42 billion in August benefits in late July instead.Through the first 10 months of this budget year, the deficit stood at $465.5 billion, 1.1 per cent higher than a year ago. The outlook for the full year looks more promising. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the year-end total will drop to around $425 billion, making it the lowest deficit since 2007.The expected improvement this year reflects a strengthening economy, with tax revenues rising as more people find jobs and the government pays out less in unemployment benefits.Last year’s deficit dropped to $483.3 billion, down from $679.5 billion in 2013. For the four years before 2013, the deficit had ballooned to above $1 trillion as a deep recession cut into revenues and expanded spending on programs such as unemployment benefits.Through the first 10 months of this budget year, tax revenues totalled $2.67 billion, an increase of 8 per cent over the same period in 2014. Spending is up 6.9 per cent to $3.14 trillion.The huge deficits in the aftermath of the worst recession since the 1930s drove the national debt higher. It currently stands at $18.1 trillion, right below the current debt limit.Since March, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has been employing emergency measures to keep the government operating without going over the current limit while appealing to Congress to increase the debt limit.In a letter to Congress earlier this month, Lew said he expected to have enough manoeuvring room to keep the government operating until late October or early November. Lew has urged Republican lawmakers to avoid using the need to raise the debt limit as a form of “brinksmanship” to force the president to accept some of their legislative goals.It was a standoff over raising the debt limit in August 2011 that prompted the first-ever downgrade of the nation’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s.In addition to dealing with the debt limit, lawmakers will return from their August recess facing a deadline to pass a budget before the Oct. 1 start of the next fiscal year.If lawmakers are not able to agree on at least a stop-gap funding measure by then, the government would face the prospect of a government shut-down. The last such stalemate occurred in October 2013 when there was a 16-day partial government shutdown before Republicans and Democrats could resolve their differences. read more