CAD Current Account (BoP) (Canadian dollar) (4Q)
Summarizes the flow of goods and services, income payments, and transfers in and out of Canada. The report acts as a gauge of how Canada's economy interacts with the rest of the world. Where the other side of the Balance of Payments, the Capital and Financial Accounts, deals mainly with financial assets and investments, the Current Account gives a detailed breakdown of how the country intermingles with rest of the global economy on a practical, non-investment basis. The Current Account tracks the trade balance (exports and imports for goods and services), income payments (such as interest, dividends and salaries) and unilateral transfers (aid, taxes, and one-way gifts). A positive value (current account surplus) indicates that the flow of capital from these components into Canada exceeds capital leaving the country. A negative value (current account deficit) means that there is a net capital outflow from these sources. Persistent Current Account deficits may lead to a natural depreciation of a currency, as trade, income and transfer payments usually reflect Canadian dollars leaving the country to make payments in a foreign currency (just as underlying surpluses act as an appreciating weight). Canada has a historically had an export oriented economy and has relied on exports (particularly oil) as the engine for economic expansion. To this day, trade surpluses form the foundation of Canadian current account surpluses. There are a number of factors that often work to diminish the impact of the Current Account release on the market. The report is not very timely, released quarterly about two months after the reporting period. Additionally, many of the components that lead to the final Current Account production and trade figures are known well in advance. Lastly, since the report reflects data for a specific reporting quarter, any significant developments in the Current Account should plausibly have been already felt during that quarter and not during the release of data.
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