RTTNews - Canada's balance on current account transactions with the rest of the world on a seasonally adjusted basis was a $9.1 billion deficit in the first quarter of 2009, larger than the $7.8 billion deficit in the previous quarter, according to data released Friday morning by Statistics Canada. Economists expected a deficit of $10.5 billion.

This quarter current account deficit was led by a further decline of the goods surplus to $0.8 billion, which was partially offset by a lower deficit on investment income.

Exports were down $19.1 billion to $97.2 billion as energy products, industrial goods and automotive products recorded significant reductions. Energy exports were down again as prices continued to decline. Energy exports have lost almost half of their value over the last two quarters. Foreign sales of industrial products declined further on lower prices and volumes, following a high in the third quarter of 2008. Automotive products reached their lowest export values in more than 16 years, as volumes of passenger cars and vehicle parts fell sharply.

Imports were reduced by $16.5 billion to $96.4 billion, as automotive products hit a 15-year low of $11.9 billion on lower volumes of passenger cars and vehicle parts. Energy products were down 35% as volumes and especially prices retreated in the quarter. Machinery and equipment and industrial goods also registered notable declines, largely on lower volumes.

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