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 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.

Table 1 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014/2015 Main Estimates 2014/2015 Planned Spending 2015/2016 Planned Spending 2016/2017 Planned Spending
127,927,320 127,927,320 125,565,446 124,949,668
Table 2 Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017
1,278 1,251 1,244
Table 3 Performance Measurement
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Measurement. The information is grouped by Program
Expected Results
(appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Date to be Achieved (appearing as column headers).
Program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
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% March 31, 2015
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80% March 31, 2015

Planning highlights

Program outputs are used to fulfill a variety of statutory and regulatory requirements. The statistics generated support the estimates of GDP, production, costs, sales, productivity and prices for industrial sectors, as well as the flows and stocks of fixed and financial capital assets, international trade and finance, and the extent of foreign ownership in Canada's economy. Moreover, national accounts data are used to implement the Federal–Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act and to allocate Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) revenue among Canada and the provinces that collect HST.

To fulfill their purpose, the statistics these programs produce must be of high quality, up to date, coherent and accessible, and they must accurately depict the performance of Canada's economy. These statistics must also be based on information that is gathered efficiently, with the least possible burden on businesses, farmers and other Canadians.

Statistics Canada continues to update the Economic Statistics Program to reflect the changing realities of the Canadian economy. At the same time, it strives to make its processes more efficient by using more and more administrative data, as well as modern technology for surveying and processing data. The goal is to expand data access for Canadians, while maintaining or improving the data quality and timeliness they have come to expect.

An effective, well-developed economic and environmental statistics program is important for Canadian businesses, workers, governments and other institutions. It can be used as a benchmark against which the performance of the economy, and collective undertakings of these organizations, can be measured. This program is central to Canada's participation in international institutions, such as the IMF, the OECD, the World Trade Organization and the UN. International coordination of economic policy, proper functioning of financial markets and effective trade negotiations depend on statistical information.

The current economic climate well illustrates the dependence of macroeconomic fiscal and monetary policy on economic statistics. Similarly dependent on economic statistics are industrial and labour market policies, regional economic policy, productivity and innovation policies, and policies designed to attract and retain foreign investment in Canada. Environmental statistics provide data on the impact of human activity on the environment, and shed light on the interaction of policy initiatives and environmental issues.

Like governments, private businesses depend on economic statistics for making decisions on such things as investments, market analysis, opening and closing locations, and mergers and acquisitions. Timely and reliable statistics reduce uncertainty about the economy and environment, and make private decision-making more efficient.

The planned release dates for major economic indicators can be found on the Statistics Canada website.

Planned activity: Reduce response burden and expand the use of administrative data

Statistics Canada is committed to managing and reducing response burden for all of its survey respondents. In response to a commitment made to the Red Tape Reduction Commission in 2011/2012 to implement measures for managing and reducing business response burden, the Agency will continue scrutinizing the burden it imposes on businesses. Content changes will be examined to ensure that the data is not already available from other sources and that samples impose the least amount of burden possible, while ensuring acceptable quality. The Agency will also review existing business surveys to identify potential data duplication and streamline, when applicable. In an effort to limit the number of surveys sent to businesses and the time that businesses remain in a sample, impact and feasibility studies will be completed to identify and minimize the likelihood of selection for multiple surveys, particularly for small and medium enterprises. An annual time limit within which businesses must fill out the surveys will be set, according to sizes of businesses, and cases where the time limits are exceeded will be addressed. The Agency is also moving quickly to adopt electronic reporting, the data collection mode favoured by many businesses.

Through another commitment made in response to the Red Tape Reduction Commission, the Agency will intensify existing efforts to replace business survey data with administrative data, primarily from tax sources. The inventory of administrative data available within the federal government, which was completed in 2012/2013, will be used to plan further reductions in direct surveying of Canadian businesses and institutions. The objective is to minimize, if not eliminate, multiple data requests for the same information by Statistics Canada and other federal departments, by increasing the use of administrative data in lieu of survey data, and by reviewing the Agency's client-department information needs.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Implement measures to manage and reduce response burden by scrutinizing current and new survey content.
  • Continue substituting survey data with other administrative data, including tax data and various data sources from all levels of government, and collaborate with other federal government departments to align and coordinate information needs, regardless of purpose.

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

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 Trade and several other federal and provincial departments and agencies. Its outputs are also widely used in the private sector.

Table 3 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)Macro Accounts (System of National Accounts)
2014/2015 Planned Spending 2015/2016 Planned Spending 2016/2017 Planned Spending
26,941,553 26,935,259 26,944,699
Table 4 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents)
2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017
289 289 289
Table 5 Performance MeasurementTable summary
This table displays the results of Performance Measurement. The information is grouped by Sub-program
Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Date to be Achieved (appearing as column headers).
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Public- and private-sector organizations use national accounts statistics to inform debate on macroeconomic issues, for economic research and analysis, and for decision-making and for carrying out macroeconomic policy. Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) regularly using the data 100% March 31, 2015
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80% March 31, 2015
Number of media citations for the GDP program 750 March 31, 2015

Planning highlights

The System of National Accounts (SNA) covers production by industry and commodity; GDP by income and expenditure; financial transactions; balance sheets; and a range of international accounts. As such, the national accounts provide the framework for most of the Economic Statistics Program, and use the industry and commodity data collected mainly from the Business and Trade Statistics Program, as well as administrative data (e.g., tax data) to provide macroeconomic statistics and analysis of Canadian economic activity, both domestic and international.

Planned activity: Deliver timely and accurate economic indicators

Producing a comprehensive program of macroeconomic statistics to support fiscal and monetary policy is one of Statistics Canada's fundamental responsibilities. This program comprises measures of Canada's GDP, on both an expenditure and an income basis, and by industry; cross-border statistics; national wealth; consumer, raw material and producer price movements; as well as more detailed measures of international trade, retail and wholesale sales, manufacturing shipments, corporate profits and corporate finance. Canada subscribes to the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard. The Agency's programs provide data for most of the categories required by this standard. Macroeconomic statistics also play a key role in federal equalization payments to the provinces and in allocating HST revenues between federal and provincial governments.

Specifically
Ongoing

  • Conduct the monthly and annual economic surveys used to compile the GDP and other economic indicators.
  • Publish economic indicators, such as GDP, retail sales, international imports and exports, manufacturing shipments, on monthly and quarterly bases, within two months of the reference period.
  • Publish statistics on the financial health of the economy, such as national wealth and household debt.

Planned activity: Further renewal of the System of National Accounts

The national accounts form a fundamental part of Canada's reporting requirements to international organizations, such as the OECD, the IMF and the UN. These reporting requirements evolve in line with the changes to international standards. All major economies, including Canada, are in the process of moving to the SNA 2008 and to its associated standards.

In line with the strategy to revise the SNA more often than in the past, and having successfully implemented a large scale historical revision of the SNA in 2012/2013 to comply with new international standards (SNA 2008) and address emerging economic issues, work will continue implementing more conceptual changes based on recommendations still being formulated by various international bodies. Specifically, plans will be developed for the next revision to the Canadian SNA in 2015.

In 2014, Statistics Canada will extend the quarterly series back to 1961. These updated series will provide forecasters with a richer set of data with which to base their forecasts. In addition to the longer time series, the SNA will integrate revised government revenue, expenditure and balance-sheet data. These data will improve the overall quality of government sector data within the SNA, from which statistics such as government spending, government deficits and government debt are derived. In 2014, Statistics Canada will also be preparing new provisional estimates of financial services that are more internationally comparable with those of the United States. These estimates will be integrated into the core SNA in 2015.

Responding to a need for long and consistent time series data for analytical and research purposes, several national accounts time series not released with the 2012 historical revision will be finalized and published, including some national databases dating back to 1926 and some provincial series, back to 1981.

With respect to international accounts, work to address the emerging needs of key users and new international standards will continue, especially in the context of new survey results on foreign direct investment.

Work will also continue to improve SNA methodologies and adapt methodologies and processes to changes in source data from a revamped, integrated survey program. This work will ensure the high quality of SNA statistics.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Develop an integrated plan for implementing the next historical revision of the National Accounts in 2015.
  • Continue the conceptual and statistical work related to further implementing international standards.
  • Improve and adapt SNA methodologies, and processes to changes in source data.
  • Publish consistent national time series starting from 1926 and provincial time series starting from 1981.

Planned activity: Modernize the Government Finance Statistics Program

The Government Finance Statistics Program measures and analyzes the economic dimensions of Canada's public sector. The economic dimensions measured are revenue, expenditures and the resulting surplus or deficit, assets and liabilities, as well as net worth or net debt position. Since government financial statements and reports are based on the organizational structures and on the accounting and reporting practices of individual governments, there is a lack of consistency across jurisdictions and over time. A common accounting standard is required to aggregate and compare this information across jurisdictions. An internationally accepted Government Finance Statistics (GFS 2001) manual has been developed by the IMF. GFS 2001 is an internationally accepted accrual accounting framework for government finance statistics. GFS 2001 is also fully integrated with the UN's SNA framework. Over the last number of years, Statistics Canada has been adopting this international standard in its Public Sector Statistics program. In July 2014, Statistics Canada will be releasing a set of government revenues, expenditures and balance sheets based on this international accounting standard. This data will form the basis of the government sector data, and will be fully integrated within the other Canadian SNA products. Data from this program is used by governments for analytical and forecasting purposes, as well as for reporting to international agencies like the IMF and OECD. The revenue statistics are used in the equalization program of the Federal–Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act. Finally, the information will also be presented by function of government (e.g., expenditures on health, education and justice), permitting consistent comparison of government expenditures by purpose of expenditure across jurisdictions.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Finalize dissemination strategy and documentation for a full government finance statistics publication.
  • Inform key stakeholders about the new statistical accounting standards and classifications.
  • Disseminate the first government finance statistics data in the summer of 2014.
  • Continue to implement and disseminate additional expenditure data by function

Planned activity: Make key investments in the quality of the international accounts

Over the next three years, the Agency will make a number of key investments in the quality of its international accounts program. Statistics Canada currently produces estimates of trade in goods and services on a balance-of-payments basis for six trading areas. Over the next year, the compilation of the data on trade in goods and services will be expanded to include, potentially, 27 countries and three-country groupings based on an analysis of trade activity over the last 10 years. Decisions on the number of trading areas to be published will be made in late 2013; data will be released in the summer of 2014.

Work will continue on extending the coverage and extent of securities data available from the program to respond to the G-20 Data Gaps needs for comprehensive and integrated information on domestic and cross-border securities transactions and positions. Linked to foreign direct investments, the amount of data available on the activities of foreign affiliates of Canadian companies will also be increased. As well, some initial corresponding estimates of foreign affiliates operating in Canada will be established. These changes respond to increased demand from policy departments and reporting requirements of international organizations of which Canada is a member. Statistics Canada expects to release a paper in the summer of 2014 highlighting the results of this work, with the goal of releasing an annual product beginning in the summer of 2015.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Publish a new geographical breakdown for trade in goods and services.
  • Publish new detail on the activities of Canadian foreign affiliates.
  • Publish new provisional estimates (in the form of a paper) on the activities of foreign affiliates operating in Canada.

Planned activity: Move towards more current and comprehensive financial and wealth statistics

Since the 2008 global financial crisis, demand for current and comprehensive financial and wealth statistics has increased. The need is both at the international and domestic level. International organizations such as the IMF are asking member countries to produce statistics that highlight their exposure to risk by producing financial statistics on a 'to whom – from whom' (TWFW) basis. Statistics Canada has an agreement with the IMF for a two-stage process related to the development of these estimates. These statistics will not only identify who holds financial assets but with whom they are held. This will permit policy makers to assess the risk of a given sector's portfolio of assets. Statistics Canada plans to release provisional data on a TWFW basis for a few sectors of the economy in 2014.

In addition to these two important initiatives, Statistics Canada continues to work towards developing an 'Other Change in Asset Accounts', which is an addition to both the National and International Balance Sheet Accounts. These accounts provide important information on the change in sectoral and national wealth that is due to such things as holding gains and losses, the destruction of assets due to natural disasters, the discovery of natural resources, and business writedowns. Together, these new accounts will provide important new information on the financial health of the Canadian economy.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • With regard to the TWFW matrix, a feasibility analysis of the development of this matrix, with existing data sources, will be completed in 2014.
  • Following completion of analysis on the feasibility, Statistics Canada will deliver a preliminary set of TWFW estimates to the IMF if quality is deemed adequate. This first stage will be completed in 2014/2015.
  • With regard to the other change in assets accounts, development work will be completed in 2014/2015.

Planned activity: Ensure that economic statistics reflect the nature of global production

The evolution of multinational enterprises' production processes to increasingly fragmented global production affects both business-trade statistics programs and national accounts estimates. This phenomenon poses significant measurement challenges for statistical organizations. Considerable conceptual and methodological work and data development is required to capture and analyze the impacts of globalization. Work has begun in the international community to address this relevance challenge. Statistics Canada is participating in a joint United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Task Force on Global Production. The task force is charged with clarifying international standards and setting out some general guidelines on measurement.

Internally, Statistics Canada has established a working group on globalization to provide guidance and coordination required for the implementation of changes to the economic statistics programs. The working group is currently deriving a measure of the incidence of processing, merchanting and factoryless goods production within the Canadian economy. In concert with this work, the working group is developing Statistics Canada's position regarding the classification of factoryless goods producers with a deadline to develop an official position by the fall of 2014. These efforts will ensure that the changing nature of the way firms, individuals and governments operate in the global economy will continue to be properly reflected in the Agency's economic statistics program.

In addition, Statistics Canada is extending its measure of the activities of Canadian affiliates operating abroad and is developing estimates of foreign affiliates operating in Canada to meet current and emerging policy-analytical needs. This work will also be crucial towards the measurement of global production.

The Agency will also be releasing new estimates of trade in goods on a balance of payments basis for 27 Principal Trading Partners, including China and Mexico, on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. The quarterly geographical data for trade in services will also be expanded, such that users will be able to analyze the overall trade picture with Canada's major trading partners.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Accounting for the incidence in Canada of cross-border processing, merchanting and factoryless goods production.
  • Articulating a position on the feasibility of adopting the recommendations on factoryless goods production.

Planned activity: Improving capital stock estimates

The Agency will implement a common infrastructure for the current capital stock programs (non-residential, residential, and machinery and equipment), and incorporate changes resulting from the adoption of NAPCS 2012, NAICS 2012 and the new Canadian System of National Accounts. Finally, the project will ensure coherence between the capital stock program, the SNA and the multi-factor productivity program.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • The new capital stock estimates will be aligned with the latest Statistics Canada and SNA concepts and classification systems.
  • Both the SNA and the multi-factor productivity program will use the same measure of capital stock, ensuring greater coherence between these programs.
  • Estimates of capital stock by sector will be available quarterly.

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. The program also includes assisting large complex business enterprises with data collection requirements.

Table 6 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)Industry Statistics
2014/2015 Planned Spending 2015/2016 Planned Spending 2016/2017 Planned Spending
44,536,490 43,516,446 43,018,480
Table 7 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents [FTE])Industry Statistics
2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017
439 427 422
Table 8 Performance Measurement
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Measurement. The information is grouped by Sub-program
Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Date to be Achieved (appearing as column headers).
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Public and private sector organizations use the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, as well as the retail trade, and wholesale trade surveys to monitor the economy for research and policy development. Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100% March 31, 2015
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80% March 31, 2015
Number of media citations for each mission-critical program 1,100 March 31, 2015

Planning highlights

Statistics Canada continues to update the Industry Statistics Program to reflect the changing realities of the Canadian economy. At the same time, it strives to make its processes more efficient by using more and more administrative data, as well as modern technology for surveying and processing data. The goal is to expand data access for Canadians, while maintaining or improving the data quality and timeliness they have come to expect.

Planned activity: Improvements to the business-survey processing environment

To meet various economic data requirements, Statistics Canada conducts a wide range of business surveys, on a myriad of topics that target all sectors of the Canadian economy. To further increase efficiency and make its survey infrastructure more robust, Statistics Canada launched an initiative, the Integrated Business Survey Program (IBSP), to streamline and consolidate the Agency's business survey-processing environment. The IBSP will reduce the number of methods and system applications used to process surveys, as well as maximize the re-use of common and integrated solutions.

The IBSP is in its third full year of development. When completed, it will provide a common processing environment for approximately 150 business surveys. The program will provide long-term savings; promote the use of common tools, systems and processes to reduce maintenance costs; ease knowledge transfer; and improve data processing timelines by using a simpler, more harmonized model.

The IBSP will make electronic data collection the primary data-collection method. This will generate savings, improve data quality and ease respondent burden, heeding their demands for an alternative to paper-based collection. The IBSP will also benefit Canadians by making greater use of administrative data, which will ease response burden on businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.

In January 2014, sixty (60) business surveys, which provide the inputs into the SNA, will use the new centralized model. The data from these surveys will be published by March 2015. More business surveys will be integrated in the next three years.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Collect information for the manufacturing services, retail and capital expenditure surveys.
  • Produce estimates using the newly developed processes and infrastructure.
  • Analyze the estimates using the newly implemented analytical tools.
  • Apply confidentiality and release the information for public use.
  • Develop and implement strategies to integrate additional surveys into the new model.

Planned activity: Redesign the Energy Statistics Program and the Survey of Sales of Alcoholic Beverages

In an effort to modernize and maintain the relevance of business surveys currently outside the scope of the Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP), several surveys are currently being redesigned.

Energy Statistics Program

The surveys in the Energy Statistics Program have undergone content reviews, and the review of the methodology is underway. The changes to these surveys will address some data gaps, improve data quality and reduce response burden. This work will prepare the transition for migration to the IBSP in January 2015.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Participate in the development of the subject matter specifications, testing the electronic questionnaires and the survey processing system for each survey.
  • Develop a strategy for analyzing the data series including, if required, links to historical data series.
  • Develop a dissemination plan and communication strategy for users of the survey data.
  • Develop and integrate the eight monthly surveys into IBSP for the January 2015 reference month.
  • Develop and integrate the eight annual surveys into IBSP for reference year 2014.

Survey of Sales of Alcoholic Beverages

The Survey of Sales of Alcoholic Beverages will undergo content and methodology review to ensure that the data continue to meet quality and relevance standards.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • A full review of survey content, collection vehicle and methods in 2014/2015.

Planned activity: Review the Agriculture Statistics Program

The Agriculture Division conducts an extensive statistical program with several highly integrated components, comprising the Census of Agriculture, crop and livestock surveys, farm economic statistics, agri-environmental statistics, tax and other administrative data, research and analysis as well as remote sensing. The agriculture program review, undertaken in 2011/2012 — a detailed report was posted on Statistics Canada's website in August 2012 — examined other countries' approaches to agricultural censuses and surveys and reviewed statutory and user data requirements. The report assessed different options for producing agricultural statistics in terms of fulfilling user requirements and reducing the burden on Canadian farmers. The review confirmed that Statistics Canada's agriculture statistics program, of which the Census of Agriculture is an integral component, continues to fulfill legislative requirements and serve the needs of several long-standing and diverse clients. The consultations and review of the agriculture statistics needed for program administration and policy making showed that:

  • a traditional quinquennial Census of Agriculture is necessary in the short to medium term to obtain the required information
  • some efficiency could be gained, and response burden could be reduced, by adopting a different Census of Agriculture model
  • alternative data-collection strategies could streamline the current program to reduce burden and yield cost efficiencies.

Following this initiative, feasibility studies and additional consultations were conducted with federal, provincial and industry stakeholders during 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 to identify additional administrative data sources that might be suitable for use in the Census of Agriculture or the Agriculture Statistics Program as a whole. Investigations also assessed the feasibility of changing or raising survey exclusion thresholds to eliminate survey reporting burden on smaller farms. Further work is required to investigate and analyze alternative data sources that have been identified and that hold promise for incorporation into the Agriculture Statistics Program. High levels of interdepartmental cooperation and support across jurisdictions will be necessary to obtain these microdata sets, assess the collection methodology and data quality associated with them, develop integration plans to fully use these data sources and start making changes to the program, where feasible. Further analysis of remote-sensing technologies and administrative data sources (including further incorporation of taxation data) is also required.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Increase the integration of administrative data to replace survey questions, where possible.
  • Develop the processes and procedures required to replace detailed revenue and expense questions on the Census of Agriculture and the Farm Financial Survey with taxation data.
  • Increase the use of remote-sensing applications, with a view to replacing survey questions or entire surveys over the longer term.
  • Continue to implement survey sample exclusion thresholds for selected surveys.

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 9 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014/2015 Planned Spending 2015/2016 Planned Spending 2016/2017 Planned Spending
49,086,168 47,775,780 47,644,245
Table 10 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents)
2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017
476 461 459
Table 11 Performance Measurement
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Measurement. The information is grouped by Sub-program
Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Date to be Achieved (appearing as column headers).
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Public- and private-sector organizations use the CPI, Canadian international merchandise trade and quarterly financial statistics for enterprises to monitor the economy for research and policy development. Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100% March 31, 2015
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80% March 31, 2015
Number of media citations for each mission-critical program 1,700 March 31, 2015

Planning highlights

Statistics Canada continues to update the Economy-wide Statistics Program to reflect the changing realities of the Canadian economy. At the same time, it strives to make its processes more efficient by using more and more administrative data, as well as modern technology for surveying and processing data. The goal is to expand data access for Canadians while maintaining or improving the data quality and timeliness they have come to expect.

Planned activity: Enhance the Consumer Price Index to better serve the needs of the household, business and public sectors

The year 2014/2015 will mark the fifth year of the Consumer Price Index Enhancement Initiative, a multi-year project to further improve the accuracy of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Canada's most cited measure of inflation. The CPI, aside from being a key indicator for monetary policy, is used to index pensions, employment insurance, tax brackets, wages and family support, and as a deflator to calculate real outputs. Early in 2015, the index basket will be updated for the second time on a two-year cycle, and more promptly, to reflect changes in consumer spending patterns. The number of price quotes collected each month will be further increased and the sample of retail outlets where these quotes are collected will be selected using more systematic methods, leading to a CPI sample that better represents Canadian consumer purchases. As well, new sales outlets will be introduced more quickly. Quality adjustment methods will be improved, ensuring that the CPI better reflects pure price movement. A cyclical maintenance program will be developed, ensuring that the CPI's methods and systems are always up to date.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Update the CPI product classification and introduce new basket weights to the CPI for the 2013 reference year, in early 2015.
  • Complete the introduction of representative products and outlets into the CPI for travel tours, clothing, food, furniture, tobacco products, home entertainment equipment and school supplies.
  • Complete the expansion of the geographical coverage of the CPI in Ontario and Alberta.
  • Complete the index review for traveller accommodation and clothing.
  • Adopt overall mean imputation quality adjustment for 50 representative products in the household operations, furnishings and equipment component of the CPI.

Planned activity: Develop producer price indices for service industry outputs

Statistics Canada continues to make progress in the development of price indices for service industry outputs. Price indices are important to producing reliable volume measures of GDP, assessing productivity in services as well as understanding price dynamics and sources of inflationary pressures in the Canadian economy. In 2015, Statistics Canada expects to disseminate a quarterly Architects and Engineering Services Price Index and a quarterly Consulting Services Price Index. Pilot indices for security brokerage services, investment banking and trusteed pension funds as well as direct insurance carriers will be launched in 2014. Statistics Canada is also attempting to develop a telecommunications services producer price index using data collected by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

The housing sector is also important to the overall economy. Monitoring trends in residential housing prices is valuable to informing financial and monetary policy: it has been identified as a data requirement of the IMF's Standards for Data Dissemination Plus, and an important element of the G20 Data Gaps Initiative. Statistics Canada collects the New Housing Price Index (NHPI), which excludes the condominium and resale markets. In the next two years, the Agency will develop a pilot survey to measure new condominium prices, and will redesign the NHPI to improve its relevance and quality. In addition, work continues to explore possible options of partnering with a third party to use existing resale housing price indexes in the development of a comprehensive Residential Property Price Index (RPPI). The RPPI would be an aggregate index consisting of the NHPI, a new condominium price index and a resale housing price index.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Disseminate a quarterly Architects and Engineering Services Price Index and a quarterly Consulting Services Price Index.
  • Develop pilot indices for security brokerage services, investment banking and trusteed pension funds as well as direct insurance carriers.
  • Consult with builders, associations and industry groups on the feasibility of collecting data on new condo prices and on the feasibility of improving the quality of the NHPI.

Planned activity: Undertake a survey of advanced technologies

Building on a feasibility study conducted in 2013/2014, Statistics Canada will undertake a survey of advanced technologies used by Canadian businesses. This survey will identify the investment in, and usage of, advanced technologies in the private sector. The survey will also seek to identify barriers to the use of these technologies. In addition to the 'manufacturing-centric' technologies traditionally measured by these surveys, the 2014 Survey of Advanced Technologies, to be published in 2015/2016, will identify the use of these technologies by selected service industries.

Innovation by Canadian business is a key determinant of productivity growth. Understanding innovation requires an integrated framework that identifies actors, linkages, outcomes and impacts. This new Survey of Advanced Technologies will complement the recently completed Survey of Innovation and Business Strategies and Survey of Intellectual Property Management. They will shed more light on how Canadian businesses are acquiring and using advanced technologies, and link these to innovation (i.e., the development of new products and production processes).

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Questionnaire content for the survey of advanced technologies will be completed and an electronic questionnaire developed.
  • Sampling methodology will be finalized, and a sample will be selected.
  • Collection will begin late in the fiscal year.

Planned activity: Integrate the Capital Expenditures Survey and the Survey of Research and Development in Canadian Industry

Statistics Canada currently conducts separate surveys measuring business expenditure in tangible capital (i.e., buildings, machinery and equipment), as well as some forms of intangible capital (i.e., research and development, mineral exploration and software development). Statistics Canada will create an integrated investment survey, which will combine the current Capital Expenditure Survey with the Survey of Research and Development in Canadian Industry.

In addition to eliminating duplication and helping to manage response burden, the new integrated investment survey will become a cross-economy platform that could be used to measure other characteristics of investment, science and technology, including occasional modules on innovation, the use of advanced technologies and intellectual property measures.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Based on the feasibility study conducted in 2012/2013, work will continue in resolution of content and sampling issues, allowing for an implementation plan to be developed.

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 12 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014/2015 Planned Spending 2015/2016 Planned Spending 2016/2017 Planned Spending
3,972,614 3,947,343 3,950,631
Table 13 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents)
2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017
38 38 38
Table 14 Performance Measurement
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Measurement. The information is grouped by Sub-program
Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Date to be Achieved (appearing as column headers).
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Public- and private-sector organizations use 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% March 31, 2015
Percentage of key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80% March 31, 2015
Number of media citations of Daily releases of environmental statistics 20 March 31, 2015

Planning highlights

Planned activity: Review existing environmental statistics based on the recently completed framework for environmental statistics

Statistics Canada is investing in its environmental statistics program. Environmental statistics need to be comprehensive, coherent and incorporated into the national statistical system in a manner that permits analysis in relationship to such dimensions as economic activity and well-being. Statistics Canada has played, and continues to play, a significant role in the development of the UN's System of Environmental and Economic Accounts, which seek to develop environmental accounts that parallel and can draw on the national accounts. To develop its environmental statistics program, the Agency has drafted a conceptual framework for the program in consultation with stakeholders and data users. This work was validated and finalized in 2013/2014. Beginning in 2014/2015, the framework will be used to identify and prioritize data gaps in environmental statistics. This prioritization will help guide Statistics Canada's developmental efforts in this area.

Statistics Canada, working with Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada, started developing experimental ecosystem accounts in 2011. Over the next three years, the Agency will develop a prototype ecosystem account in the high priority area of freshwater ecosystems. The proposed work will involve the compilation of existing Government of Canada data regarding the extent, quality and values for this priority ecosystem type. Statistics Canada will also seek to continue to work with the other federal departments that participated in the Measuring Ecosystem Goods and Services project to further the development of ecosystem accounts and to monitor ecosystem goods and services.

In a separate initiative, a research paper will be completed on methods of inclusion of natural capital in the calculation of multi-factor productivity, including the creation of preliminary estimates.

Also, to support the program, the Agency is conducting a new iteration of a survey to estimate distance travelled and fuel consumption of light passenger vehicles at the national, provincial and large census metropolitan-area levels of geography. Data will be released in the summer of 2014.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Develop a medium-term plan for the environment statistics program that identifies key data gaps.

Planned activity: Update documentation on concepts, sources and methods of the Canadian System of Environmental Accounts

The Agency will update documentation available to users on the concepts, sources and methods of the Canadian System of Environmental Accounts. The initiative will revise the 1997 Concepts, Sources and Methods of the Canadian System of Environmental and Resource Accounts. This document provides an integrated review of the entire set of accounts.

Now that the UN's System of Environmental-Economic Accounting has been accepted as an international statistical standard, it is an appropriate time to ensure that the Agency's methods document is in line with international best practices. This revision will reflect current concepts and modifications made to the accounts since the document was last updated, and will discuss emerging practices related to the Framework on Environmental Statistics.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Begin revising the concepts, sources and methods publication for the environmental accounts, to complete this documentation in 2015/2016.

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 issue 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 with Statistics Canada.

Table 15 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014/2015 Planned Spending 2015/2016 Planned Spending 2016/2017 Planned Spending
3,390,496 3,390,618 3,391,613
Table 16 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents)
2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017
36 36 36
Table 17 Performance Measurement
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Measurement. The information is grouped by Program
Expected Results
(appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Date to be Achieved (appearing as column headers).
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Public- and private-sector organizations use 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% March 31, 2015
Number of media citations of economic and environmental analytical products 50 March 31, 2015

Planning highlights

The Analytical Studies program integrates and analyzes data collected by Statistics Canada and others to describe Canada's economy and society — information vital for a competitive and rapidly evolving economy. The program develops innovative techniques for the statistical analyses and interpretation of socio-economic datasets. The program also produces analytical data products, including the national accounts longitudinal microdatabase and tables showing entry/exit and job growth by size class and multifactor productivity estimates. Twenty analytical reports are published each year. These activities are vital for the Bank of Canada, Finance Canada, Industry Canada, provincial governments, the private financial sector and other data users.

Planned activity: Develop labour productivity program and continue to produce analytical reports

Statistics Canada will continue to develop its labour productivity program and enhance the understanding of firm dynamics and the changing nature of the Canadian economy.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Develop productivity measures for the health sector.
  • Incorporate measures of natural capital into the productivity estimates.
  • Produce analytical reports on: firm dynamics; changing trade patterns, participation in global value chains and its impact on productivity; and the changing nature of the Canadian economy.
  • Produce estimates of GDP by city size and differences in productivity across cities.
  • Analyze the impact of differences in industrial structure on the Canada/U.S. productivity gap.

Planned activity: Expand research access to business microdata through the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research

Statistics Canada, working in partnership with other federal departments, launched the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research (CDER) as a generalized platform that gives external researchers access, under controlled conditions, to business microdata. Researchers from federal departments were welcomed in 2011, and CDER opened its doors to research submissions from the academic community in the fall of 2013. A series of conferences aimed at federal, provincial and territorial departments and academic researchers will continue over the coming year. As with household micro-data, confidentiality of identifiable information remains rigorous at all times. Projects planned for 2014/2015 include a Webex presentation and continued outreach to the academic community. Database development in new areas, such as health and transportation, will begin.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Increase CDER's capacity to review and accept submissions from academic researchers.
  • Organize and deliver two conferences to federal and provincial departments and academics.
  • Outreach to academics through the development of a Webex presentation.
  • Begin database development in health and transportation.
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