Expo Helps Ease Payments of Deficit

Tourists Bring Big Inflow of Funds

(By The Canadian Press) -- A marked improvement in Canada's balance-of-payments picture has been sparked by Expo 67 and other centennial events bringing foreign visitors to Canada.

The deficit, which by mid-1966 had amounted to $771,000,000, was cut to $555,000,000 by July 1 this year.

Last year's total deficit ran to $1,137,000,000 by the end of the year. This was little change from the 1965 deficit of $1,130,000,000.

However, signs now seem to point to a much smaller deficit for 1967. The third quarter of the year is normally a time when Canada does not add greatly to its deficit. Last year it showed a $41,000,000 surplus in this period.


With Expo breaking attendance forecasts through most of this period, and a good summer generally for the tourist business across the country, the foreign travel dollar should significantly help reduce the balance of payments deficit for 1967.

The deficits normally are covered by inflows of foreign capital, and this continued in the first half of this year, with emphasis on long-term investment.

The figures for the second quarter, released Wednesday by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics showed:

1. Commodity exports ran $3,020,000,000, and imports cost $3,032,000,000 leaving a merchandise trade deficit of $2,000,000.

2. The deficit on non-commodity transactions with other countries, which has been growing since 1964, was cut to $247,000,000 from $408,000,000 in the first quarter and $375,000,000 in the same period last year.

3. After capital movements took up the difference, Canada had to reduce its holdings of gold, foreign exchange, and International Monetary Fund credits by $55,000,000, compared with $13,000,000 in the first quarter but with $117,000,000 in the second quarter last year.

As previously reported, the government's 1967 export drive by mid-year was well on its way to the goal of $11,250,000,000 for the year.

But imports in the same period were also growing, reaching $5,529,000,000 in six months this year, compared with $4,864,000,000 in the same period last year.

- End of article. Copyright by The Canadian Press, September 28, 1967. All rights reserved.