Canada’s trade deficit almost doubled in June as exports collapsed, adding significant new drag to the country’s slowing economic recovery.

The trade report released Wednesday, coupled with a similarly weak reading south of the border, suggests the recovery in North America has entered a critical stage after a strong rebound earlier in the year.

“It’s just unfortunate that suddenly we are getting a whirlwind of reports that just a few weeks ago were looking strong, suddenly giving back that strength,” said economist Douglas Porter of BMO Capital Markets.

Statistics Canada said exports fell 2.5 per cent in June, while imports dropped 1.2 per cent.

That left the country with a $1.1-billion trade deficit for the month, deeper than May’s $695-million shortfall, which in itself had been revised upwards from the previously reported $503 million.

The news was, if anything, worse in the United States, which given a weak domestic economy has been counting on exports to keep its recovery on life-support. The U.S. trade deficit ballooned 19 per cent to $49.9 billion in June, far more than anticipated and the highest since October 2008.