Statistics Canada says merchandise exports grew by 3.5 per cent in May, while imports rose 1.6 per cent, cutting the trade deficit with the world to $152-million from $961-million in April.
Economists had expected a deficit of about $250-million, according to Thomson Reuters.
Statistics Canada says exports increased to $44.2-billion, the second highest value on record, led by motor vehicles and parts.
Imports rose to $44.3-billion, with vehicles and parts as well as metal ores and non-metallic minerals, leading the way.
Exports to the United States rose 2.1 per cent $33.5-billion in May, while imports slipped 0.2 per cent to $28.7-billion, raising the trade surplus with the U.S. to $4.8-billion from $4-billion in April.
Exports to countries other than the United States grew 8.3 per cent to $10.7-billion, while imports from those countries rose 5.1 per cent to $15.6-billion, narrowing that trade deficit to $4.9-billion from $5-billion in April.