The balance on international trade in goods recorded a CAD 2.0 billion deficit in the fourth quarter, following a CAD 2.9 billion surplus in the previous quarter. This was the first deficit since the fourth quarter of 2013. Nevertheless, for 2014 as a whole, the balance on goods expanded by CAD 12.1 billion to reach a surplus of CAD 4.9 billion.
Overall, the total exports of goods declined by CAD 3.4 billion to reach CAD 131.8 billion in the fourth quarter, led by a reduction in energy products. Exports of energy products were down CAD 4.2 billion, largely on lower prices for crude petroleum. Farm, fishing and intermediate food products were down CAD 1.1 billion with lower volumes of canola and wheat. Metal and non-metallic mineral products were up CAD 0.7 billion on higher volumes, mainly aluminum products and precious metals.
Total imports of goods were up CAD 1.5 billion to CAD 133.8 billion in the quarter. Consumer goods advanced CAD 0.7 billion on higher prices. Motor vehicles and parts increased CAD 0.6 billion on higher volumes of cars and a combination of stronger volumes and prices for parts. Metal and non-metallic mineral products rose CAD 0.5 billion, led by higher volumes of precious metals. These gains were partially offset by a CAD 1.0 billion reduction in imports of energy products, mostly from lower prices of crude petroleum.
The deficit on international transactions in services narrowed by CAD 0.1 billion in the fourth quarter to CAD 5.5 billion. This was in line with the surplus on commercial services expanding by CAD 0.1 billion, on stronger receipts. The travel and transportation deficits were largely unchanged.
The investment income deficit shrank by CAD 0.4 billion to CAD 5.7 billion. Profits earned in Canada by foreign direct investors were down by more than those earned abroad by Canadian direct investors. Earnings on both portfolio assets and liabilities continued to advance in the quarter.
For the year 2014, the current account deficit narrowed by CAD 12.8 billion to reach CAD 43.5 billion, in line with a strengthened goods balance. In the financial account, most of the inflows of funds from abroad were the results of transactions in the other investment category. In contrast to recent years, foreign direct and portfolio investment contributed minimally to the net cross-border inflow of funds.