Canadian dollar holds near five-week high despite wider trade deficit

A pair of container ships make their way

At 9:43 a.m. EDT (1343 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading almost unchanged at $1.2772 to the greenback, or 78.30 US cents. As a result, the trade surplus with the United States shrank to C$2.58 billion from C$2.93 billion in January.

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis said a $1.1 billion rise in service imports "reflects payments for the rights to broadcast the 2018 Winter Olympic Games" after NBC, the Comcast-owned television network, paid nearly $1 billion to air live coverage of the contest from Pyeongchang, South Korea. Still, the overall economic growth is on track to expand 1.4 percent in the March quarter.

A decade of steady job growth and rising incomes has driven stiff demand among consumers and industry in the world's largest economy.

Trump worries about the trade deficit - should we?

Trade has started on a weak note in 2018, with February's report affirming that net trade might be a drag on the economic growth in the first quarter of this year, noted TD Economics in a research report.

"Tariffs may sound like a good way to change the pattern of trade, but they tend to raise prices" without changing fundamental drivers of trade, he added. Real petroleum gap decreased to US$7.3 billion as the volume of crude-oil imports was the lowest since February 2015; excluding petroleum, the trade shortfall narrowed to US$68.2 billion.

Blue pinwheels promote child abuse prevention in Smith Co
Child abuse is a public health crisis. "Learn about the signs of child abuse and how to prevent it". In 2017, Child Protective Services reported 1,203 cases of confirmed abuse in Lubbock.

Regionally, Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $2.6 billion in February compared with $2.9 billion in January, as imports from the USA grew 3.3%.

Washington and Beijing have threatened in recent days to put import duties on about $50 billion of each other's exports - with the Chinese targeting politically sensitive USA goods such as soybeans and the Americans pointing to high-end manufactured items in the aerospace, auto, pharmaceutical and other sectors.

Mr Trump has said he wants America's deficit with China to decline by $100bn. The deficit with Mexico surged 46.6 percent in February. Aircraft and other transportation equipment and farm, fishing and intermediate food products also recorded decent rises, while metal ores and non-metallic minerals provided some offset.

Exports rose 0.4 percent as shipments of motor vehicles and parts rebounded five percent following atypical Canadian auto plant closures in January.

Wall Street took the news in stride, with investors calmed by hope a trade war will be averted.

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