Economic Trends/Outlook in Canada

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Economic Overview

After declining due to global recession, Canada's GDP has rebounded with growth estimated at over 3% in 2010 due to the stimulus package, the recovery of foreign trade and the newfound confidence of Canadian households. The growth rate should slow down in 2011, reflecting among others the end of the stimulus measures and a lower household consumption, which are facing increased levels of debt.

After the beginnings of a recovery, the emphasis is now on structural reforms. The government's priority is to consolidate its budgetary position, which in some provinces the crisis has worsened to alarming proportions. Plans to cut spending have been developed. Health reform also figures at the forefront, as well as a reform of the system of unemployment benefits.

In fact, even though Canada is a rich country with a very good living standard, it now has to deal with a worrying growth of its unemployment rate, which was estimated at 8 % in 2010. 

Main Indicators 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
GDP (billions USD) 1,336.07 1,574.05e 1,737.27e 1,809.32e 1,875.14e
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -2.5 3.1e 2.8e 2.6e 2.5e
GDP per Capita (USD) 39,683 46,215e 50,265e 51,572e 52,662e
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -3.2 -4.0e -3.6e -2.2e -1.4e
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 83.4 84.0e 84.2e 83.1e 81.0e
Inflation Rate (%) 0.3 1.8e 2.2e 1.9e 2.0e
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force) 8.3 8.0e 7.6e 7.3e 6.7e
Current Account (billions USD) -36.13e -40.04e -40.47e -39.50e -
Current Account (in % of GDP) -2.7e -2.6e -2.5e -2.3e -

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database

Note: (e) Estimated Data


Main Sectors of Industry

Accounting for almost two thirds of the GDP, the service sector dominates the Canadian economy. Its most dynamic areas are: telecommunications, tourism, Internet (almost 65% of Canadian households regularly use the Internet) and the aeronautical industry.

The agricultural sector represents a little more than 2% of the GDP and employs less than 2% of the population. Canada is one of the largest exporters of agricultural products in the world, wheat in particular. It produces 10% of the world's GMO harvests. Fishing is an important sector. Canada is one of the main producers of minerals, namely nickel, zinc and uranium. The country also has large reserves of oil and natural gas.

Canada has 6 strong sectors of primary industry: renewable energies (mainly wind), forestry sector, hydrogen and fuel cells, mines, metals and minerals, fishing, oil and gas. The manufacturing sector represents approximately a third of the GDP.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 2.5 21.6 75.9
Value Added (in % of GDP) 1.6 31.8 66.5
Value Added (Annual % Change) -9.5 -10.1 0.6

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

For more detailed background on Industries in Canada, click here.

Indicator of Economic Freedom

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2011 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the Country Risk Analysis Provided By Ducroire.


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