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Containers sit at the Port of Vancouver on June 18, 2019.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada posted a wider-than-expected trade deficit in July as imports rose and exports declined, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday, a sign that the boost to the domestic economy from trade in the second quarter may not be repeated.

Canada’s trade deficit was $1.12-billion in July, while the prior month’s surplus was revised to show a $0.06-billion deficit. Analysts had forecast a deficit of $0.40-billion in July.

“Canada’s trade balance took a dive into the red in July, playing into fears that Q2’s big growth driver, exports, would go missing in Q3,” Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said in a note.

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Data on Friday showed that the Canadian economy expanded at a surprisingly strong annualized rate of 3.7 per cent in the second quarter, a pace much higher than the Bank of Canada had predicted, thanks to a resurgence in goods exports.

The Bank of Canada was due to make an interest rate decision at 10 a.m.. Money markets expect the benchmark interest rate to be left on hold at 1.75 per cent. They do expect the central bank to ease by the end of the year.

Exports edged down by 0.9 per cent in July partly because of lower trade in crude oil, as well as farm, fishing and food products. Imports were up by 1.2 per cent, largely on consumer goods and locomotive cars.

Exports to the United States fell 1.1 per cent, while imports from the United States rose 1.6 per cent, narrowing Canada’s trade surplus with its southern neighbour to $4.6-billion.

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