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Canadian international trade in services, November 2019

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Released: 2020-01-07

In November, Canada's monthly deficit in international trade in services widened by $108 million to $1.5 billion. The expanding deficit was entirely due to a lower surplus for commercial services, as the deficits for travel services and transportation services both narrowed.

Imports of services rose $123 million to $13.0 billion in November, the result of higher payments for commercial services. The overall increase in imports was moderated by lower payments for transportation services and travel services.

Exports edged up $15 million to $11.5 billion, as an increase in travel services was partially offset by smaller declines in commercial services and transportation services.

Chart 1  Chart 1: International trade in services
International trade in services

In comparison, total imports of goods were $49.8 billion in November, while exports totalled $48.7 billion, resulting in a goods deficit of $1.1 billion. When combined, the trade balance for goods and services amounted to a deficit of $2.6 billion in November, down $411 million from October.

Chart 2  Chart 2: International trade in goods and services, November 2019
International trade in goods and services, November 2019

The services trade deficit for October, first reported at $1.2 billion, was revised up by $163 million with this month's release of November 2019 data. Exports of services for October were revised up by $108 million, almost entirely due to higher commercial services. Imports were revised up by $271 million, on higher travel services and commercial services.

  Note to readers

Data availability

These monthly trade in services estimates are available on a raw and on a seasonally adjusted basis for four principal categories of international services at the total country level: commercial services, travel, transport and government services.

The purpose of this new product is to provide more timely indicators on trade in services, supplementing the detailed quarterly and annual statistics on trade in services already included in the balance of payments. It will also provide a more comprehensive picture of Canada's overall international trade activity on a monthly basis, complementing the already published information on goods.

Previously, data were released on an experimental basis: "Experimental monthly estimates of international trade in services, September 2019."


Because several data sources used in the compilation of the international trade in services program are only available on a quarterly or an annual basis, the monthly statistics on Canada's international trade in services are generated using models in cases where up-to-date information is not available. This is in keeping with the methodology used in many countries that produce monthly trade in services data.

In general, for most of the commercial services, travel, and some of the transport services, the modelling of monthly estimates follows a three-step approach. First, values for the upcoming quarter are estimated using statistical models (auto-regressive integrated moving average). Then, in a second step, indicator series proxying the monthly movement of trade in services are identified through relationships with other economic indicators, such as merchandise trade or gross domestic product by industry. Finally, a temporal disaggregation method (referred to as the Denton-Cholette method) is applied to distribute modelled quarterly services on a monthly basis using the predicted values of monthly services generated in the second step. Adjustments are made each month as new information is made available.

A more detailed description of estimation methodology for monthly trade in services is available upon request.


The updated Canada and the World Statistics Hub (Catalogue number13-609-X) is available online. This product illustrates the nature and extent of Canada's economic and financial relationship with the world using interactive graphs and tables. This product provides easy access to information on trade, investment, employment and travel between Canada and a number of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China and Japan.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is also available. This publication will be updated to maintain its relevance.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Alec Forbes (613-668-6454;, International Accounts and Trade Division.

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