Cross-border shopping stalls in first quarter

A brutal winter and soaring fuel prices kept Canadians from visiting or spending as much in the U.S. in the first three months of this year as they did in the last half of 2007.

Canada’s international travel deficit — the difference between spending by Canadian residents abroad and spending by foreigners in this country — fell to about $3.1 billion in the first quarter, down $295 million from the record high set in the fourth quarter of last year Statistics Canada reported. The deficit had jumped by $744 million in the third quarter and $620 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.

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