Archived – Program 1: Economic and Environmental Statistics

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Program description

The Economic and Environmental Statistics Program's purpose is to create a trusted, relevant and comprehensive source of information on the entire spectrum of Canada's economy in order to: inform public debate on economic issues; support economic policy development, implementation and evaluation; and guide business decision making. It is the primary source of information for developing the country's fiscal and monetary policies and for studying the economic evolution of Canadian industries and regions. These statistics support various statutory requirements, among others: the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations, the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, land claims settlements agreements and the Comprehensive Integrated Tax Coordination Agreement related to the Harmonized Sales Tax. The outputs are also vital to research and to economic policy development, implementation and evaluation by a number of federal departments, such as the Bank of Canada, Finance Canada, Industry Canada, Foreign Affairs and International TradeFootnote 1, as well as by provincial and territorial governments. They are extensively used by the private sector for business planning and decision making and by international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations (UN). Outputs include monthly and annual measures of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Consumer Price Index (CPI), current indicators of retail and wholesale trade, Canada's merchandise export and import statistics, estimates of agricultural income and expenditures, transportation statistics and statistics relevant for the analysis of relationships between human activity and the environment in Canada.

Table 1 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) — Economic and Environmental Statistics
2013/2014 Main Estimates 2013/2014 Planned Spending 2013/2014 Total Authorities Available for Use 2013/2014 Actual Spending (authorities used) 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
115,166,472 115,166,472 131,515,310 130,781,314 15,614,842
Table 2 Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs]) — Economic and Environmental Statistics
2013/2014 Planned 2013/2014 Actual 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
1,153 1,192 39
  • The difference between planned and actual spending for this program is mainly the result of additional funding received during the year to compensate equivalent salary expenditures to meet the legal obligations of the employer, for example, parental leave, and permanent internal budget realignments between program activities. This program's spending is in line with the funding it has available for use, with a minimal difference of 0.5%.
Table 3 Performance Indicators — Economic and Environmental Statistics
Program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Public and private sector organizations utilize economic and environmental statistics for monitoring the economy, for policy development, and for research Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100 100
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80 Unavailable for 2013/2014

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned — Economic and Environmental Statistics

Economic and environmental statistics are utilized by public and private sector organizations for monitoring the economy, for policy development, and for research.

2013/2014 activities

  • Statistics Canada continued to deliver timely and accurate economic indicators. For details, please see Organizational Priorities in Section 1 of this document.
  • Reduced response burden and expanded use of administrative data: Statistics Canada collaborated with other federal government departments to align and coordinate information needs, regardless of purpose; and it conducted feasibility studies on substituting survey data with other administrative data (from various sources; e.g., federal, provincial, municipal).
  • Performance measurement strategies: Two important economic programs—Environmental Statistics and the Census of Agriculture—developed performance measurement strategies fully in line with Treasury Board's guidelines to ensure compliance with the Policy on Management, Resources and Results Structures and to define each program's expected results and performance indicators. Gathering of information and monitoring of these indicators will start in the next year.

Sub-program 1.1: Macro Accounts (System of National AccountsFootnote 2)

Program description

This program provides a conceptually integrated framework of statistics and analysis for studying the evolution of the Canadian economy. The accounts are centred on the measurement of production of goods and services, and the purchase/sale of goods and services in domestic and international markets. Corresponding price indexes are derived, and estimates of economic activity in "real" or "inflation adjusted" terms are prepared. Monetary flows are tracked among the four major sectors of the economy: households, businesses, governments and non-residents. Saving, investment, assets, liabilities and national wealth are measured. This program also produces statistics on economic transactions and on Canada's assets and liabilities with the rest of the world, of which the primary output is the Balance of Payments and the International Investment Position. Financial and employment statistics for the Canadian public sector are produced: more specifically revenues, expenditures, assets, liabilities and debt statistics for the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government including government health and education institutions. The program supports various statutory requirements including the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations, the Comprehensive Integrated Tax Coordination Agreement and the Special Data Dissemination Standard with the IMF. Its outputs such as GDP, balance sheet and financial flows, provincial economic accounts, input‑output tables and the satellite accounts for household work and the tourism sector are vital to the policy development and program responsibilities of the Bank of Canada, Finance Canada, Industry Canada, Foreign Affairs and International TradeFootnote 3 and several other federal and provincial departments and agencies. Its outputs are also widely used in the private sector.

Table 4 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) — Macro Accounts (System of National Accounts)
2013/2014 Planned Spending 2013/2014 Actual Spending 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
27,705,183 27,172,329 -532,854
Table 5 Human Resources (FTEs) — Macro Accounts (System of National Accounts)
2013/2014 Planned 2013/2014 Actual 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
302 250 -52
  • The difference, in both spending and FTEs, is due to temporary internal reallocations made during the year to better align resources with the Agency's priorities. FTEs always vary slightly due to variance between the average salary rates paid and the estimated average salary rates used in calculations at the planning stage.
Table 6 Performance Indicators — Macro Accounts (System of National Accounts)
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Public- and private-sector organizations utilize national accounts statistics to inform debate on macroeconomic issues, for economic research and analysis, and for decision-making and the conduct of macroeconomic policy. Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100 100
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80 Unavailable for 2013/2014
Number of media citations for the GDP program and Balance of International PaymentsFootnote 4 750 1,330

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned — Macro Accounts (System of National Accounts)

National accounts statistics are utilized by public- and private-sector organizations to inform debate on macroeconomic issues, for economic research and analysis, and for decision-making and the conduct of macroeconomic policy. These statistics also form a fundamental part of Canada's reporting requirements to international organizations, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations.

2013/2014 activities

  • Statistics Canada continued to provide a comprehensive set of macroeconomic statistics, built from a conceptually integrated macroeconomic accounting framework, that are critical in understanding and studying the evolution and structure of the Canadian economy.
  • Further renewal of the Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (CSMA): Statistics Canada developed an integrated plan for implementing the next comprehensive revision of the Canadian Macroeconomic Accounts in 2015; continued the conceptual and statistical work related to further implement international standards; improved and adapted methodologies and processes to changes in source data; and published consistent provincial, territorial and national account time-series back to 1981.
  • Modernize the Government Finance Statistics program: Statistics Canada continued to implement the new IMF standard for reporting government finance statistics; informed key stakeholders about the new statistical accounting standards and classifications; supported the 2014/2015 renewal of the Federal–Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act; disseminated the first government finance statistics data for the administration of the Federal–Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act in November 2013; and finalized a dissemination strategy for the government finance statistics.

Sub-program 1.2: Industry Statistics

Program description

The program plans, directs, coordinates and controls the provision of statistical information and advice on distributive trades, manufacturing, energy, and service industries to governments, private organizations and institutions. It produces statistics concerning the activities of the agriculture sector and its participants, including national and provincial estimates for the SNA and it produces consistent, integrated and timely statistical information on all modes of transport. This is achieved by conducting annual and sub-annual surveys of manufacturing, energy, retail and wholesale trade, including a monthly survey of new motor vehicle sales. The program also includes annual and sub-annual surveys on income and prices, crop and livestock statistics. The program supplies the SNA with data required by the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations, and the Special Data Dissemination Standard with the IMF. Data are required as part of Canada's participation to the North American Free Trade Agreement under the "Snapback" provision and the Bank Act Regulations, Section 427. The program also satisfies the information requirements of Transport Canada, the Canadian Transportation Agency, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, other federal government departments, provincial governments, international organizations, industry associations, the academic community and the public at large.

Table 7 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) — Industry Statistics
2013/2014 Planned Spending 2013/2014 Actual Spending 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
32,911,417 47,560,691 14,649,274
Table 8 Human Resources (FTEs) — Industry Statistics
2013/2014 Planned 2013/2014 Actual 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
306 427 121
  • The difference, in both spending and FTEs, is mainly the result of an in-year increase in authorities due to a permanent internal budget realignment from sub-program 4.3 Other Statistical Support Program to this program, and to additional funding received during the year to compensate equivalent salary expenditures to meet the employer's legal obligations, for example, parental leave. FTEs always vary slightly due to variance between the average salary rates paid and the estimated average salary rates used in calculations at the planning stage.
Table 9 Performance Indicators — Industry Statistics
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Public and private sector organizations utilize the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Wholesale Trade for monitoring the economy, for research, and for policy development. Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100 100
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80 Unavailable for 2013/2014
Number of media citations for each mission-critical program 1,100 1,223

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned — Industry Statistics

The Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Wholesale Trade are utilized by public and private sector organizations for monitoring the economy, for research, and for policy development.

2013/2014 activities

  • Statistics Canada continued to provide statistical information and advice on topics, such as agriculture, distributive trades, manufacturing, energy, and service industries to governments, private organizations and institutions.
  • Integrated Business Survey Program (IBSP): Statistics Canada finished developing and testing the electronic questionnaires for the initial group of surveys to be integrated into the IBSP; built and tested content and survey processing systems; completed development of a survey database; developed a strategy for analyzing new data series; and developed and began to implement the new model. The IBSP is a major initiative, with a large impact on industry statistics. Its objective is to streamline and consolidate the Agency's business survey-processing environment by reducing diversity in methods and system applications among the surveys, and by maximizing common and integrated solutions. When completed, it will provide a common processing environment for more than 150 business surveys and will make electronic data collection the primary data collection method.
  • Agriculture Statistics Program: Statistics Canada continued to refine this program and, in particular, to look for ways to further reduce response burden imposed on farmers. In addition to measures already under way such as sample reduction, coordination and rotation, the program introduced a reduction in survey population for selected surveys to exclude smaller farms; increased the integration of administrative data to replace survey questions, while investigating the potential for other unexploited administrative data from the risk management program; began work to accommodate replacement of detailed expense questions on future censuses of agriculture; tested the replacement of certain financial variables on the Farm Financial Survey with taxation data, with a view to implementing this change in reference year 2015; and increased evaluation activity on the use of remote-sensing applications and data from satellite imagery, with a view to replacing survey questions or entire surveys over the longer term.

Sub-program 1.3: Economy-wide Business Statistics

Program description

This program plans, directs, coordinates and controls the provision of statistical information and advice on financial and taxation statistics for enterprises, international trade, investment and capital stock, consumer and industrial prices, small businesses, and science, innovation and electronic information to governments, private organizations and institutions. This program tracks the size, financial structure and ownership characteristics of the corporate sector in Canada. The program also has responsibility for measuring production in the finance and insurance industries. Data is produced under the Corporation Returns Act and the Financial and Taxation Statistics for enterprises as well as Canada's merchandise export and import statistics and related price and volume indices (Customs and Balance of Payments basis). This program supplies the SNA with data required by the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations and the Comprehensive Integrated Tax Coordination Agreement. The CPI and other price indexes (industrial product prices, services producer prices, non-residential construction prices, new housing prices, machinery and equipment prices, and farm input prices) are named in numerous acts for various reasons: Canada Pension Plan Act, Old Age Security Act, the adjustment of income tax basic deductions and inflation indicators in the Government of Canada - Bank of Canada Agreement on Inflation Control Targets. The indexes are also required by the SNA to satisfy the Fiscal Arrangements Act, and the Special Data Dissemination Standard with the IMF.

Table 10 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) — Economy-wide Business Statistics
2013–14 Planned Spending 2013–14 Actual Spending 2013–14 Difference (actual minus planned)
47,474,800 46,845,135 -629,665
Table 11 Human Resources (FTEs) — Economy-wide Business Statistics
2013–14 Planned 2013–14 Actual 2013–14 Difference (actual minus planned)
476 445 -31
  • The difference, in both spending and FTEs, is due to temporary internal reallocations made during the year to better align resources with the Agency's priorities. FTEs always vary slightly due to variance between the average salary rates paid and the estimated average salary rates used in calculations at the planning stage.
Table 12 Performance Indicators — Economy-wide Business Statistics
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Public- and private-sector organizations utilize the Consumer Price Index, Canadian international merchandise trade, and quarterly financial statistics for enterprises for monitoring the economy, research, and policy development. Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100 100
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80 Unavailable for 2013/2014
Number of media citations for each mission-critical program 1,700 2,050

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned — Economy-wide Business Statistics

The Consumer Price Index, Canadian international merchandise trade, and quarterly financial statistics for enterprises are utilized by public- and private-sector organizations for monitoring the economy, research, and policy development.

2013/2014 activities

  • Statistics Canada continued to provide statistics related to the industrial organization and financial performance of enterprises, international trade, investment, capital stock, science and technology, and consumer and producer prices.
  • Consumer Price Index Enhancement: This redesign continued. For details, please see Organizational Priorities in Section 1 of this document.
  • Survey on Innovation and Business Strategies: The second iteration of this survey was completed. This came about as a result of an investment from a consortium of federal and provincial government stakeholders. The survey will provide key information on strategic decisions, innovation activities and operational tactics used by Canadian enterprises. These data are particularly valuable in supporting government researchers on business behaviours and decision-making, management practices, the global value chain, and the use of advanced technology.
  • The evaluation of the Consumer Price Index and the CPI – Enhancement Initiative was completed in May 2013. The evaluation revealed that respondents who participated in the study consider the Consumer Price Index to be a high-quality, reliable index. The findings indicated that the CPI is timely, relevant and credible and that Statistics Canada is the only organization in Canada that can produce the CPI. The Agency is also seen as an independent government organization with a high level of credibility, neutrality and trustworthiness. In addition, the evaluation found that there are increased expectations from stakeholders for more detailed information and more frequent updates about the CPI and CPI-EI; and it confirmed that the CPI-EI is focused on the correct objectives and is on schedule to meet them. Recommendations were also made relating to three key areas: improving responsiveness to evolving user needs, internal governance, and communication with users. In response, the program has made important progress in all three of those areas.
  • Other: The classifications and products in the industrial product and raw materials price indexes were updated to reflect changes in the Canadian economy. A new lending services price index was introduced.

Sub-program 1.4: Environmental Statistics

Program description

This program integrates environmental and socio-economic information into sets of statistics relevant for the analysis of relationships between human activity and the environment in Canada. The primary outputs for this program are time-series estimates of various components of Canada's environmental wealth (water, clean air, forests, sub-soil minerals), natural resource usage, pollution flows and environmental protection expenditures. A detailed geographically-referenced database is maintained that facilitates environmental studies by eco-region or by water basin. The program includes an annual compendium entitled Human Activity and the Environment which is widely used by schools as well as by federal and provincial government policy makers. Program outputs are used by Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, provincial government departments, and various private sector organizations and international institutions.

Table 13 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) — Environmental Statistics
2013–14 Planned Spending 2013–14 Actual Spending 2013–14 Difference (actual minus planned)
3,740,285 5,797,849 2,057,564
Table 14 Human Resources (FTEs) — Environmental Statistics
2013–14 Planned 2013–14 Actual 2013–14 Difference (actual minus planned)
37 42 5
  • The difference, in both spending and FTEs, is mainly due to the cyclicality of two projects that receive additional funding to deliver their output one year out of two. A portion is also explained by additional funding received during the year to compensate equivalent salary expenditures to meet legal obligations of the employer, for example, parental leave. FTEs always vary slightly due to variance between the average salary rates paid and the estimated average salary rates used in calculations at the planning stage.
Table 15 Performance Indicators — Environmental Statistics
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Public and private sector organizations utilize the environmental accounts and statistics on the changing relationship between human activity and Canada's economy to inform debate, research and decision-making on environmental issues. Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100 100
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80 Unavailable for 2013/2014
Number of media citations of Daily releases of environmental statistics 20 20

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned — Environmental Statistics

Environmental accounts and statistics on the changing relationship between human activity and Canada's economy are utilized by public and private sector organizations to inform debate, research and decision-making on environmental issues.

2013/2014 activities

  • Statistics Canada continued to provide statistical information and advice on topics related to the environment.
  • Natural capital-based framework for environment statistics: Following several years of development and consultation, Statistics Canada completed the development of a natural capital-based framework for environment statistics. This framework has become the basis for a review of the existing environmental statistics program and the identification of data gaps. These gaps are being prioritized through discussions with key user groups, and a medium-term plan to reduce or eliminate the gaps is being established, with the pace of implementation subject to resource availability. The Agency also published the results of the interdepartmental research project, "Measurement of ecosystems, goods and services," in the 2013/2014 edition of Human Activity and the Environment; and developed a medium-term plan for the Environment Statistics Program and identified key data gaps.

Sub-program 1.5: Analysis of Economic and Environmental Statistics

Program description

This program integrates, analyses and interprets data collected both within the department and elsewhere to describe and draw inferences about the nature of Canada's economy and society. The program plans, directs, coordinates and conducts a range of statistical analyses and publications, as well as develops, maintains and disseminates several micro-simulation models. The program provides a summary of current economic conditions through: articles in the Canadian Economic ObserverFootnote 5, analytical reports, and annual estimates of multifactor productivity. These activities are vital for the Bank of Canada, Finance Canada, Industry Canada and the private sector financial community. New and improved techniques for the statistical analysis and interpretation of economic data sets are developed. The program also provides an important quality assurance role to verify the accuracy and relevance of the statistics produced, assist users in interpreting the data, and develop relevant concepts for the production of statistics.

Table 16 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) — Analysis of Economic and Environmental Statistics
2013/2014 Planned Spending 2013/2014 Actual Spending 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
3,334,787 3,405,310 70,523
Table 17 Human Resources (FTEs) — Analysis of Economic and Environmental Statistics
2013/2014 Planned 2013/2014 Actual 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
32 28 -4
  • The small difference between planned and actual spending is mainly due to additional funding received during the year to compensate equivalent salary expenditures to meet employer's legal obligations, for example, parental leave. FTEs always vary slightly due to variance between the average salary rates paid and the estimated average salary rates used in calculations at the planning stage.
Table 18 Performance Indicators — Analysis of Economic and Environmental Statistics
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Public and private sector organizations utilize the results of statistical analyses, models, databases and other statistical information products for informed debate, research and decision-making on economic and environmental issues. Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the analytical products 80 Unavailable for 2013/2014
Number of professional citationsFootnote 6 50 1,882

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned — Analysis of Economic and Environmental Statistics

The results of statistical analyses, models, databases and other statistical information products are utilized by public and private sector organizations for informed debate, research and decision-making on economic and environmental issues.

2013/2014 activities

  • Statistics Canada continued to provide relevant analysis, data development and modelling outputs on a wide range of topics, and to address timely issues of concern to all levels of government, businesses, institutions and non-governmental organizations. Output included studies of productivity in the health care sector, the effect of the resource base on productivity, and differences between large and small firms.
  • Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research (CDER): This group continued to provide researchers with secure access to business data for studies that meet the needs of other government departments and accredited researchers.

Notes

Footnote 1

Now called the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

The System of National Accounts (SNA) is now called the Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (CSMA).

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

Now called the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Footnote 4

Replaces the indicator presented in the 2013/2014 Report on Plans and Priorities: Number of media citations for the GDP program.

Return to footnote 4 referrer

Footnote 5

Now called Economic Insights.

Return to footnote 5 referrer

Footnote 6

Replaces the indicator presented in the 2013/2014 Report on Plans and Priorities: Number of media citations of economic and environmental analytical products.

Return to footnote 6 referrer

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