Archived – Program 1: Economic and Environmental Statistics

Archived information

Archived information is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

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 Trade, 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.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)—Economic and Environmental Statistics 2014/2015
Main Estimates  Planned Spending Total Authorities Available for Use Actual Spending (authorities used) Difference (actual minus planned)
127,927,320 127,927,320 132,585,590 132,627,053 4,699,733
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])—Economic and Environmental Statistics 2014/2015
Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
1,278 1,226 −52

The small (0.03%) difference between planned and actual spending for this program is mainly the result of salary expenditures that are reimbursed by Treasury Board, for example, parental leave payments.

Performance Indicators—Economic and Environmental Statistics Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Economic and Environmental Statistics. The information is grouped by Program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
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 2014/2015

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned—Economic and Environmental Statistics

2014/2015 activities

  • Statistics Canada continued to deliver timely and accurate economic indicators. For details, please see Organizational Priorities in Section I of this document.
  • In line with the government's efforts to reduce red tape and the burden on small and medium-sized businesses, Statistics Canada implemented a new strategy in January 2015 to reduce response burden. Through this strategy, any business with an excessive accumulation of response minutes over a three-year period was exempted for at least one year from all surveys. Monthly algorithms were run to create the list of exempted businesses. A review was conducted by the Ombudsman for Businesses and the survey program areas to ensure the quality of survey outputs was not jeopardized by exempting these businesses.
  • The Economic and Environmental Statistics program met its performance target in 2014/2015. The data were widely used by a variety of users, and the key economic and environmental releases were often cited by the media and the results conveyed to the general public.

Sub-program 1.1: Macro Accounts (System of National AccountsFootnote 1)

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 International Monetary Fund. Its outputs such as Gross Domestic Product (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 Trade and several other federal and provincial departments and agencies. Its outputs are also widely used in the private sector.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)—Macro Accounts (System of National Accounts) 2014/2015
Planned Spending Actual Spending Difference (actual minus planned)
26,941,553 28,560,039 1,618,486
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])—Macro Accounts (System of National Accounts) 2014/2015
Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
289 265 −24

The difference between planned and actual spending for this program is mainly the net result of salary expenditures that are reimbursed by Treasury Board (for example, parental leave payments) offset by a permanent budget realignment to Sub-program 2.3, Demographic, Aboriginal and other Social Statistics. FTEs may vary slightly as a result of differences between the average salary rates actually paid and the estimated average salary rates used in calculations at the planning stage.

Performance Indicators—Macro Accounts (System of National Accounts) Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Macro Accounts (System of National Accounts). The information is grouped by Sub-program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
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) regularly using the data 100 100
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80 Unavailable for 2014/2015
Number of media citations for the GDP program 750 1,214

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

2014/2015 activities

  • Statistics Canada developed an integrated plan for the next historical revision of the Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts. The revision will allow Statistics Canada to maintain alignment with evolving international standards, will add significant detail to a number of products, and will integrate the new Government Finance Statistics and modernized capital stock data. Overall, the accounts will be more internationally comparable and will allow for a richer analysis of the Canadian economy.
  • The Agency continued to introduce and implement new or updated standards, such as the new International Monetary Fund standard for Government Finance Statistics. Last year, Statistics Canada released provisional estimates of Government Finance Statistics that record government revenues, expenditures, assets and liabilities. These data fill a major data gap in the area of public finances.
  • In the past, when the Agency released data on Canada's international trade in goods on a balance-of-payments basis, it was only able to present the international flows for six country groupings: the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and three country aggregates. There was a great deal of frustration in the user community about the absence of data for Mexico, one of the North American Free Trade Agreement partners, and China, a major emerging trading partner for Canada. Last year, Statistics Canada expanded this to 27 principal trading partners and 3 principal trading areas. These data critically improve the understanding of the increasingly global nature of the Canadian economy and respond to the needs of many data users for trade data.
  • The Agency made progress in the areas of financial and wealth statistics, global production, and capital stock. The Agency produced a revised set of capital stock estimates that better reflect the Canadian economy. Work was also undertaken to develop plans to enhance the Agency's financial and wealth statistics program in the area of measuring financial risk (specifically related to households) and international financial exposure. Statistics Canada developed a number of important concepts related to global production—a necessary foundation for better measuring this increasingly important activity.
  • Statistics Canada completed an evaluation of the Agency's Macroeconomic Accounts Program. The evaluation found that this program provides a comprehensive set of statistics on economic activities and that the program is strongly aligned with and contributes to the priorities of the federal government. The evaluation contained three recommendations. These related to the implementation of a performance measurement system, the provision of cost-recovery services, and the updating of metadata information. The management response action plan addresses all the recommendations. Program evaluations are conducted under the Treasury Board Policy on Evaluation and are posted on the Statistics Canada website.
  • The program met its performance targets in 2014/2015. National accounts statistics were widely used by a variety of users, and the key economic releases were often cited by the media and the results conveyed to the general public.

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 System of National Accounts 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 System of National Accounts with data required by the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations, and the Special Data Dissemination Standard with the International Monetary Fund. 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. The program also includes assisting large complex business enterprises with data collection requirements.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)—Industry Statistics 2014/2015
Planned Spending Actual Spending Difference (actual minus planned)
44,536,490 47,900,447 3,363,957
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])—Industry Statistics 2014/2015
Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
439 432 −7

The difference between planned and actual spending for this program is mainly the net result of salary expenditures that are reimbursed by Treasury Board (for example, parental leave payments), and a permanent budget realignment from Sub-program 1.3, Economy-wide Business Statistics plus additional resource allocations made during the year for the Integrated Business Statistics Program to better align resources with the Agency's priorities.

Performance Indicators—Industry Statistics Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Industry Statistics. The information is grouped by Sub-program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
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, 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 2014/2015
Number of media citations for each mission-critical program 1,100 1,001

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned—Industry Statistics

2014/2015 activities

  • The Integrated Business Statistics Program completed the implementation of the first wave of surveys; 60 surveys have now been transitioned. As a result, the use of administrative data has increased from 39% to 70% of sampled businesses. In addition, 15 processing systems have been replaced with 6, and statistical processing no longer needs to be done sequentially—estimates can be produced while data collection is ongoing. This means that analysts can work with early estimates and that collection resources can be targeted in real time.
  • Statistics Canada developed an Energy Statistics Framework along with a five-year strategic priority document largely focusing on data quality, support and data gaps. A detailed plan is being developed to address a number of key data gaps and other issues identified during consultations with users.
  • In line with findings and recommendations from the Agriculture Statistics Program Review conducted in 2011/2012, the program continued to examine the potential to further expand the use of administrative data and satellite imagery as alternate data sources. In particular, in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, an extensive study was conducted on producing reliable crop estimates during the growing season by using modelling techniques and a combination of data sources, including data obtained through remote sensing technology.
  • In addition, the Agency undertook a review of the Control and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages in Canada Survey. This program collects data from the provincial and territorial government liquor authorities on the value and volume of sales of alcoholic beverages and on financial information. The information is collected within the context of the public sector statistical program. It is used by governments; the liquor, wine and beer industries; international agencies; and researchers.
  • The program met the target of having all intended key users using the data regularly. Although the number of media citations did not meet the target, the level achieved (91% of the target value) nonetheless demonstrates the relevance of the program.

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 on 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 System of National Accounts with data required by the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations and the Comprehensive Integrated Tax Coordination Agreement. The Consumer Price Index (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 System of National Accounts to satisfy the Fiscal Arrangements Act, and the Special Data Dissemination Standard with the International Monetary Fund.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)—Economy-wide Business Statistics 2014/2015
Planned Spending Actual Spending Difference (actual minus planned)
49,086,167 47,736,514 −1,349,653
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])—Economy-wide Business Statistics 2014/2015
Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
476 456 −20

The difference, in both spending and FTEs, is mainly because of a permanent budget realignment to Sub-program 1.2 Industry Statistics. FTEs may vary slightly as a result of differences between the average salary rates paid and the estimated average salary rates used in calculations at the planning stage.

Performance Indicators—Economy-wide Business Statistics Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Economy-wide Business Statistics. The information is grouped by Sub-program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
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 2014/2015
Number of media citations for each mission-critical program 1,700 1,257

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned—Economy-wide Business Statistics

2014/2015 activities

  • Statistics Canada completed the final steps of a major enhancement project for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The accuracy of the CPI has been improved by increasing the frequency and timeliness of basket updates and by almost doubling the monthly sample size for prices. Better methods have also been put in place to account for product quality changes, and to improve product and outlet selection methods.
  • In February, collection began on the Survey of Advanced Technology. Results from the survey will help policy makers understand how businesses are acquiring and using advanced technologies and link these data to innovation, and ultimately to the critical issue of productivity in Canada. Traditionally, when technology adoption has been measured, it has been in the manufacturing sector. This survey goes beyond that, gathering information on the use of data analytics, nano- and biotechnologies, and geomatics.
  • In addition, the Agency continued its work in the area of producer price indexes for service-industry outputs. A new quarterly index, the Architects and Engineering Services Price Index, was released in January 2015. Pilot indexes for seven new indexes were also launched in 2014.
  • Building on a feasibility study that was completed in 2012/2013, Statistics Canada continued work on planning the implementation of the Integrated Investment Survey in 2014/2015. The plan included the enumeration of methodology issues in an integrated survey, as well as consultation with respondents on the content of an integrated vehicle. This information will be used when the survey is developed under the Integrated Business Statistics Program, starting in 2017/2018.
  • Program data continued to be used widely by a variety of users, and the program met its target of intended key users. Although the number of media citations fell below the target, data releases on the Consumer Price Index and the Industrial Product Price Index were nonetheless cited often by the media.

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.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)—Environmental Statistics 2014/2015
Planned Spending Actual Spending Difference (actual minus planned)
3,972,614 4,303,274 330,660
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])—Environmental Statistics 2014/2015
Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
38 39 1

The difference between planned and actual spending for this program is mainly the result of salary expenditures that are reimbursed by Treasury Board (for example, parental leave payments), and of an in-year increase in authorities attributable to a permanent internal budget realignment from Sub-program 4.3, Continuity and Quality Maintenance Program, to this program.

Performance Indicators—Environmental Statistics
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Environmental Statistics. The information is grouped by Sub-program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
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 2014/2015
Number of media citations of Daily releases of environmental statistics 20 7

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned—Environmental Statistics

2014/2015 activities

  • Statistics Canada continued to implement the Framework on Environmental Statistics in a number of priority areas: development of regularly published ecosystem and land and water yield accounts, initiation of a governance mechanism to facilitate collaboration with outside data partners, development of pilot environmental activity accounts, identification of data sources and gaps, and extension of the existing physical flow accounts in the area of solid waste.
  • All environmental surveys are published on a biennial basis, so every second year the number of releases is smaller—as is the number of citations. Of note, in 2014/2015, an annual product, Human Activity and the Environment, was the basis of an editorial in a widely read Canadian magazine.

Sub-program 1.5: Analysis of Economic and Environmental Statistics

Program description

This program plans, directs, coordinates and conducts a range of data development initiatives, statistical analyses and publishes studies that focus on topics in macroeconomics and microeconomics, use data from the National Accounts to shed light on current issues and generate studies on productivity as well as estimates of multifactor productivity. This program also provides Statistics Canada's assessment of current economic conditions through articles in Economic Insights. These activities serve four main functions: (1) to generate new data that can be used by the analytical community; (2) to demonstrate how these data can be used to provide analysis of relevant issues that dominate public debate; (3) to contribute to improved quality by vetting Statistics Canada data to assess their fitness for various uses; and (4) to provide in depth feedback and quality assurance to a wide range of the data producing units within Statistics Canada.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)—Analysis of Economic and Environmental Statistics 2014/2015
Planned Spending Actual Spending Difference (actual minus planned)
3,390,496 4,126,779 736,283
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])—Analysis of Economic and Environmental Statistics 2014/2015
Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
36 34 -2

The difference between planned and actual spending for this program is mainly the result of salary expenditures that are reimbursed by Treasury Board (for example, parental leave payments), and of a temporary funding reallocation made during the year from Sub-program 4.2, Operational Statistical Services, to better align resources with the Agency's priorities.

Performance Indicators—Analysis of Economic and Environmental Statistics Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Economic and Environmental Statistics. The information is grouped by Program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
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 2014/2015
Number of professional citations Table Note 1 1,000 2,156

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

2014/2015 activities

  • To meet a growing interest in measuring the dynamics of metropolitan economies, new estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) for cities were published in the fall. Traditionally, Statistics Canada has produced estimates of GDP nationally and by province, but not at the metropolitan-area level. These city GDP estimates were produced from the National Accounts Longitudinal Microdata File.
  • More current estimates of firm entry and exit were produced. These were derived from the Longitudinal Employment Analysis Program and the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours.
  • The program also produced analytical studies on the importance of material offshoring and participation in global value chains, and on the impact of productivity gains in the production of intermediate inputs in foreign countries on aggregate Canadian productivity growth in 2014/2015. These studies contribute to work by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and by the World Trade Organization to construct world input–output tables to study the impact of globalization on value added.
  • The conference Recent Developments in Productivity Measurement and Analysis took place in February 2015. It was jointly organized by Statistics Canada, the Bank of Canada, Industry Canada, and the Network to Study Productivity in Canada from a Firm-Level Perspective. Representatives and experts from statistical agencies (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Statistics Canada) presented best practices on productivity measurement and discussed ongoing work to address measurement issues and better meet user needs. The conference also addressed other issues, such as demographic change in the labour force, changing demography in the firm population and technological trends, and how these might affect the future evolution of productivity in Canada.
  • The actual number of professional citations exceeded the target. This reflected numerous professional citations for articles published by the program in Statistics Canada publications, including various research paper series and Economic Insights, as well as those published in a broad range of academic journals.

Notes

Footnote 1

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

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Date modified: