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Current account gap grows as exports fall

Canada's current account deficit widened more than expected in the third quarter as exports to the United States fell for the first time in more than a year while imports of goods increased, suggesting an uneven economic recovery.

The country's eighth consecutive quarterly shortfall in the current account -- a measure of transactions in goods, services and investment income -- totaled $17.54 billion, compared with a revised second-quarter gap of $12.98 billion, Statistics Canada said on Monday.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast a $15 billion deficit.

Imports got a boost in the quarter from businesses importing more machinery and equipment. But anemic U.S. demand for Canadian goods, particularly crude oil, led to a decline in overall exports for the first time since the second quarter of last year.

As a result, the deficit in trade in goods bulged to $6.50 billion from $2.24 billion in the previous quarter.

The deficit in trade in services was unchanged in the third quarter while the investment income deficit narrowed slightly.

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