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Canada posted an unexpected trade surplus of $1.07 billion in November 2011 as exports jumped to a three-year high on booming energy shipments while imports fell slightly, Statistics Canada data indicated Friday.
Market analysts, on average, expected to record a deficit of $500 million in November after the $487 million deficit in October.
Trade is a major driver of the economy and the Bank of Canada predicts that a combination of the high Canadian dollar and weak foreign markets will keep exporters under pressure in 2012.
Exports jumped by 3.2 percent from October to $40.09 billion, the highest since the $41.98 billion recorded in October 2008. Energy exports climbed by 6.4 percent, with crude petroleum hitting a record $6.38 billion.
Imports dropped by 0.8 percent to $39.02 billion on lower shipments of automotive products as well as industrial goods and materials.
Exports to the United States, our biggest trading partner by far, increased by 1.9 percent while imports dropped by 2.0 percent, pushing the bilateral trade surplus up to $4.57 billion from $3.55 billion in October.