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OTTAWA, May 30 (Reuters) - Canada’s current account deficit widened to C$19.50 billion ($15.00 billion) in the first quarter, the third largest ever, thanks to a growing international trade gap in goods, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a shortfall of C$18.00 billion. The record deficit was the C$20.20 billion set in the third quarter of 2010.
The trade deficit in goods jumped to C$8.97 billion from C$7.49 billion as imports grew at a faster rate than exports.
Imports rose to C$148.23 billion from C$145.25 billion on higher shipments of motor vehicles and parts as well as energy products. Exports edged up to C$139.26 billion from C$137.75 billion on greater demand for energy products.
Direct investment in Canada for the quarter rose to C$17.79 billion, the highest level in two and a half years, with more than half of the money going to the manufacturing sector.
Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by Paul Simao