OTTAWA -- Statistics Canada says merchandise exports grew 3.6 per cent and imports were up 2.1 per cent in February.

It says Canada's trade balance with the world went to a surplus of $290 million in February from a deficit of $337 million in January.

The report says exports rose to $42.3 billion on the strength of motor vehicles and parts as well as energy products.

Imports grew to $42.1 billion on higher imports of energy products, motor vehicles and parts, as well as industrial machinery, equipment and parts.

Exports to the United States rose 4.4 per cent to $32.4 billion and imports increased 3.3 per cent to $28.1 billion as the trade surplus with the United States increased to $4.3 billion in February from $3.9 billion in January.

Exports to other countries were up 1.1 per cent to $9.9 billion while imports edged down 0.2 per cent to $14 billion, narrowing the trade deficit with those countries to $4 billion in February from $4.2 billion in January.