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Canadian international trade in services, May 2021

Released: 2021-07-02

Canada's monthly international trade in services deficit widened from $303 million in April to $384 million in May. Overall, imports of services increased 0.7% to $9.7 billion, while exports edged down 0.1% to $9.3 billion.

To explore the most recent results of Canada's international trade in services in an interactive format, see the "International trade monthly interactive dashboard".

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

Imports of transportation services rose 4.2% to $1.9 billion in May, on higher payments related to the marine shipment of imported goods. Imports of travel services increased 7.0% to $445 million, mainly due to an increase in the number of Canadians returning from trips to non-US destinations. Imports of commercial services declined 0.5% to $7.2 billion.

Chart 2  Chart 2: International trade in services, imports
International trade in services, imports

Exports of travel services were down by 4.7% to $846 million in May, as the number of non-resident travellers visiting Canada declined. Restrictions on international travel into and out of Canada remained in place in May, as did COVID-19 testing and quarantine regulations for travellers entering Canada. The government of Canada also imposed a ban on direct flights from India and Pakistan that came into effect on April 22. Exports of commercial services were up 0.5% to $7.1 billion.

Chart 3  Chart 3: International trade in services, exports
International trade in services, exports

Chart 4  Chart 4: International trade in services, balances
International trade in services, balances

By comparison, total imports of goods increased 2.1% to $50.9 billion in May, while total exports of goods were down 1.6% to $49.5 billion, resulting in a goods deficit of $1.4 billion. Combined, the trade balance for goods and services amounted to a $1.8 billion deficit in May—a $1.9 billion change from a surplus of $159 million in April.

Chart 5  Chart 5: International trade in goods and services, May 2021
International trade in goods and services, May 2021

The services trade deficit for April, first reported at $226 million, was revised up to $303 million with this month's release. Imports of services for April were revised up by $96 million, on upward revisions to travel services and transportation services. Exports of services were revised up by $18 million, on upward revisions to commercial services.

  Note to readers

COVID-19 and additional data sources

Circumstances surrounding COVID-19 pose issues for the production of monthly international trade-in-services statistics, particularly for travel and transportation services.

To better capture the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada is incorporating data from the Canada Border Services Agency's primary inspection kiosks into its monthly international trade-in-services program. These are electronic customs declaration kiosks that have been installed in most major Canadian airports. While these data represent only a subset of total travellers, they provide relevant and timely insights.

Further information on the estimation methodology is available upon request.


The updated Canada and the World Statistics Hub (Catalogue number13-609-X) is available online. It illustrates the nature and extent of Canada's economic and financial relationship with the world using interactive charts 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, Japan, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

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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