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Statistics Canada says it will not publish international merchandise trade statistics for December as scheduled on Feb. 5 because of the U.S. government shutdown.

The agency says it uses U.S. import data to measure Canadian exports to the United States.

However, the partial U.S. government shutdown that began Dec. 22 has meant that Statistics Canada will not receive that data as expected.

It noted that trade statistics without Canada’s exports to the United States have limited use as they represent approximately 75 per cent of Canada’s total exports.

Statistics Canada noted that other quarterly economic reports that rely on the trade data, such as the balance of international payments and quarterly gross domestic product, will go ahead using special estimates of Canadian exports to the United States if necessary.

It said that combining an estimate of one month with two months of actual trade figures and other sources of economic data reduces the risks associated with publishing an estimate for December trade data on its own.