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Imports rise following two months of decreases

OTTAWA, Ont. -- The combined growth in imports of industrial goods and materials, and machinery and equipment more ...

OTTAWA, Ont. — The combined growth in imports of industrial goods and materials, and machinery and equipment more than compensated for the declines registered by the five remaining sectors in June, according to the latest Statistics Canada report. Of those, automotive products led the decrease, accounting for the majority of the total drop.

Imports of industrial goods and materials rose 3.6% to $7.2 billion, following three months of decline. Chemicals and plastics registered the largest increase in this sector, rising 6.0% to $2.6 billion, on the heels of four consecutive monthly declines. Imports of metals and metal ores also increased (+3.3%), largely on the strength of non-ferrous metals and alloys, specifically copper.

Increases in office machines and equipment, combined with a rise in industrial and agricultural equipment, pushed machinery and equipment imports up 0.7% to $9.6 billion. These increases in part reflected greater imports of gas and wind tower generators. However, this growth was weakened by declines in aircraft and other transportation equipment (-0.7%), as well as other machinery and equipment (-1.8%).

Among the other sectors, imports of automotive products decreased the most, dropping for the third month in a row to $6.2 billion. Both motor vehicle parts (-6.9%) and passenger autos (-2.6%) declined. On the other hand, imports of trucks and other motor vehicles edged up 0.5%.

Imports of other consumer goods declined for the third consecutive month, contracting 1.6% to $4.4 billion. Imports of miscellaneous consumer goods, particularly pharmaceuticals, were entirely responsible for the decrease, as imports of apparel and footwear advanced 0.7% in June.

Imports of energy products fell 1.0% to $3.1 billion; both crude petroleum and other energy products contributed to the decrease. A decline in volume led to the 1.3% decrease in crude petroleum, despite the small rise in price. Lower diesel fuel demand in the transportation sector contributed to reduced imports of petroleum and coal products and drove other energy products downward.

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