(Adds details of release, background)
OTTAWA, March 1 Canada's current account deficit
in the fourth quarter narrowed sharply to C$10.73 billion ($8.07
billion), its lowest in more than five years, thanks largely to
rising exports, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a C$9.75 billion
deficit. The shortfall was the lowest since C$10.17 billion
recorded in the third quarter of 2011.
For 2016 as a whole, the current account deficit hit a
second consecutive annual high, edging up to C$67.70 billion
from C$67.55 billion in 2015.
The balance on international trade in goods in the fourth
quarter posted a surplus of C$793 million, the first since the
third quarter of 2014.
Exports, a key part of the Bank of Canada's economic
outlook, jumped by C$6.29 billion to C$136.55 billion. Energy
products were the major contributor to export growth, benefiting
from both higher prices and volumes.
The deficit on trade in services dipped slightly to C$5.46
billion while foreign investment in Canadian securities totaled
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)