Bloomberg News

Canadian Exporter Confidence Drops to Second-Lowest on Record

December 01, 2011

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian exporter confidence plunged to the second-lowest on record amid concern the global economy is worsening, the country’s export-financing agency said.

Export Development Canada’s semi-annual trade confidence index fell to 67 from 76.2 in the survey published June 29, Ottawa-based EDC said today. The index, which dates to 2000, hit a record low of 61 in 2008.

“Canadian exporters appear frustrated by the uncertainty in the global economy and the world’s markets,” Peter Hall, the agency’s chief economist, said in a statement.

Exports make up one third of Canada’s economy with three- quarters of the shipments bound for the U.S. Sales abroad have been threatened by a Canadian dollar trading near parity with its U.S. counterpart, a drop in demand for building products and automobiles and Europe’s debt crisis.

EDC’s own forecast is that the Canadian dollar will weaken from three cents above parity with the U.S. dollar this year to two cents weaker than parity next year.

“The day-to-day volatility is hurting their bottom lines,” the report said about the exchange rate. Exporters “feel the higher dollar is here to stay, and they’ve accepted that and incorporated it into their operational plans.”

The survey with 785 complete responses was done from Oct. 3 to Oct. 14, and the biggest drop in confidence was seen in the so-called balance of opinion on the global economy. That measure plunged to negative 51 percent from 4 percent in the last survey, the report said.

All five questions in the survey showed a drop in the balance of opinion. The international opportunities measure fell to 5 percent from 25 percent, and export sales declined to 35 percent from 44 percent, the report said.

--Editors: Paul Badertscher, Gail DeGeorge

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at gquinn1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net.


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