UPDATE 1-Canada export weakness a concern – Flaherty

* Flaherty calls on businesses to boost investments

* Says Canadians can be confident in economy

OTTAWA, Sept 9 (BestGrowthStock) – Canadian Finance Minister Jim
Flaherty said on Thursday he is concerned by the record high
trade deficit Canada had in July and he called on the private
sector to step up investment to improve productivity and help
support economic growth.

Canada’s monthly trade deficit in July rose more than
expected as anemic demand from the United States sapped
exports, while imports surged to their highest level since
November 2008. [ID:nN09180600]

“We are concerned about some weakness in exports,” Flaherty
told reporters in Kitchener, Ontario.

The trade shortfall in July came to C$2.74 billion ($2.66
billion), Statistics Canada said, more than triple the deficit
of C$810 million that was forecast by analysts in a Reuters
poll.

Flaherty said that while he was encouraged by recent data
that pointed to a pickup in spending by Canadian businesses,
the private sector must keep reinvesting profits to help
bolster the sector and the economy.

“We need the private sector to continue to step up, start
to invest … to help create more jobs than we’ve seen in
Canada, more investment in machinery and equipment.”

The deeper trade deficit, along with softer-than-expected
housing data also released on Thursday, came a day after the
Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate by a quarter point
to help keep inflation in check.

It was the third straight hike by the bank, bringing its
benchmark rate to 1 percent, but the bank also cautioned that a
weak U.S. economy would slow down Canada’s recovery. For more
see [ID:nN08241537] [ID:nN0898286].

Flaherty said that Canada’s relatively strong economic
performance meant that Canadians should be confident despite
global economic uncertainty.

“In a global economy that remains uncertain, Canadians have
every reason to be confident. Our country has weathered (the
slowdown) … in far better shape than other major
industrialized countries,” he said.

Flaherty added that Canada would cut its overall budget
deficit in half by the 2011-12 fiscal year and by two-thirds by
2012-13. Preliminary numbers showed a 2009-10 deficit of C$47
billion ($45.6 billion) but final figures have yet to be
released.

($1=$1.03 Canadian)
(Reporting by David Ljunggren and John McCrank; editing by
Peter Galloway)

UPDATE 1-Canada export weakness a concern – Flaherty