UPDATE 1-Canada Q1 current account deficit narrows on stronger trade

OTTAWA Thu May 29, 2014 8:34am EDT

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OTTAWA May 29 (Reuters) - Canada's current account deficit narrowed to C$12.39 billion ($11.37 billion) in the first quarter of 2014 thanks to a stronger performance by exporters, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Market analysts had expected a shortfall of C$13.10 billion. Statscan revised the fourth quarter deficit down to C$15.64 billion from an initial C$16.01 billion.

The data show the struggling export sector - hit by a strong Canadian dollar and weak markets - is starting to recover. Total exports rose by C$6.51 billion to C$127.72 billion, the highest level since the third quarter of 2008, thanks mostly to greater shipments of energy.

The balance on international trade in goods posted a surplus of C$1.56 billion, the first of its kind since the end of 2011. The deficit on international transactions in services grew by C$0.40 billion to C$6.25 billion.

Canadian investment in foreign securities was C$10.36 billion higher than foreign investment in Canadian securities, the highest such gap since the fourth quarter of 2007.

($1=$1.09 Canadian) (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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