Morneau expects economic positivity to continue despite weak trade numbers

TORONTO _ Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he is “pleased” with Canada’s economic situation and expects the trend to continue for the road ahead.

The minister met with private sector economists in Toronto on Thursday morning and said the Canadian economy is in a better place than would have been expected a year ago.

“My sense is we will continue to have a positive economic situation in the coming quarters, and obviously the longer term,” Morneau told reporters.

He added that the government is honing in on a date for its Fall Economic Update, which would be in the coming weeks.

Morneau’s comments come as August statistics show the country’s trade deficit widened to $3.4 billion _ about a billion dollars more than expected. Overall exports declined for the third consecutive month to hit $43.6 billion.

The minister also said Thursday his message to exporters is “there is positive opportunity for them, and the broader economic trends would lead me to conclude that we have a positive future.”

Morneau also added that the recent pullback in the Canadian dollar would be “helpful” for exporters.