Archived – Program 1: Economic and Environmental Statistics

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Description

The purpose of this program is to create a trusted, relevant and comprehensive source of information on the entire spectrum of Canada's economy 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, Trade and Development Canada, and 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 to the analysis of relationships between human activity and the environment, in Canada.

Table 1 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015/2016
Main Estimates
2015/2016
Planned Spending
2016/2017
Planned Spending
2017/2018
Planned Spending
127,982,162 127,982,162 131,065,312 132,477,145
Table 2 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015/2016 2016/2017 2017/2018
1,197 1,184 1,180

The increase in planned spending from 2015/2016 represents inflation, and the decrease in FTEs is the result of planned program efficiencies that will transfer FTEs to the Statistical Infrastructure Program.

Table 3 Performance Measurement
Program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Canadians and public and private sector organizations use economic and environmental statistics for monitoring the economy, for policy development and for research. Post-release corrections due to accuracy ≤ 4 releases or ≤ 2% of releases March 31, 2016
Number of data products released as scheduled 95% March 31, 2016
Up-to-date metadata in the Integrated Metadatabase Fully compliant March 31, 2016
User guide documentation up-to-date Fully compliant March 31, 2016

Planning Highlights

Statistics Canada continues to update the Economic and Environmental Statistics Program. The goal is to expand data access for Canadians while maintaining or improving the data quality and timeliness they have come to expect.

The Agency also continues to manage and reduce response burden. It is examining content changes to ensure that data are not already available from other sources and that sample sizes are appropriately managed. The Agency is also reviewing existing surveys to identify potential data duplication. In an effort to limit the number of surveys sent to businesses and the time that businesses remain in a sample, Statistics Canada conducts impact and feasibility studies to identify and minimize the likelihood of selection for multiple surveys, particularly for small and medium enterprises.

In addition, Statistics Canada is moving expeditiously to adopt electronic reporting, the data collection mode favoured by many businesses.

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

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 five major sectors of the economy: households, non-profit institutions serving households, corporations (financial and non-financial), 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 (IMF).

Its outputs, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Balance Sheet and Financial Flows, Provincial Economic Accounts, the Input-Output tables and the various satellite accounts, such as the Tourism Satellite Account and the Pension Satellite Account, are vital to the policy development and program responsibilities of the Bank of Canada, Finance Canada, Industry Canada, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, 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)
2015/2016
Planned Spending
2016/2017
Planned Spending
2017/2018
Planned Spending
Note: Totals may differ within and between tables because of rounding.
26,593,154 27,475,533 27,888,495
Table 5 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015/2016 2016/2017 2017/2018
253 253 253
Table 6 Performance Measurement
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Canadians and public and private sector organizations use national accounts statistics for informed debate on macroeconomic issues, for economic research and analysis, and for decision-making and the conduct of macroeconomic policy. Timeliness of release 90% March 31, 2016

Planning Highlights

Producing a comprehensive program of macroeconomic statistics to support fiscal and monetary policy is one of Statistics Canada's fundamental responsibilities. In the coming year, the Agency will continue to conduct the monthly and annual economic surveys used to compile the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other economic indicators; publish economic indicators, such as the GDP, retail sales, international imports and exports, and manufacturing shipments, on monthly and quarterly bases, within two months of the reference period; and publish statistics on the financial health of the economy, such as national wealth and household debt. The planned release dates for these and other major economic indicators can be found on the Statistics Canada website.

A highlight for 2015/2016 will be the start of the next historical revision Footnote 1 of the national accounts. This revision will address emerging economic issues, and work towards implementing conceptual changes recommended by various international bodies.

In 2015/2016, the Agency will also release additional data based on Government Finance Statistics 2001, the current international standard for government finance statistics. The implementation of this standard allows data from individual governments with differing structures and practices to be aggregated and compared.

Over the next three years, the Agency will make a number of key investments in the quality of its international accounts program. These investments will enable the Agency to publish a new geographical breakdown for trade in goods and services, as well as new details on the activities of foreign affiliates of Canadian companies and on the activities of foreign affiliates operating in Canada. The Agency has also developed plans to ensure that economic statistics better reflect the nature of global production. The plans include accounting for the incidence of cross-border processing, merchanting and factoryless goods production. Statistics Canada is also working towards producing financial statistics on a to-whom-from-whom basis. These statistics will permit policy makers to assess the risk of a given sector's portfolio of assets. Beyond these plans, the Agency is implementing a common infrastructure for the capital stock programs and aligning new estimates with the latest concepts and classification systems of Statistics Canada and its System of National Accounts.

Sub-program 1.2: Industry Statistics

Description

The program plans, directs, coordinates, and controls the provision of statistical information and advice on a broad range of industrial sectors. These range from distributive trades, manufacturing, transportation, and other service industries, to governments, private organizations and institutions. It also produces timely statistics concerning the activities of the agriculture sector and its participants. This is achieved by conducting annual and sub-annual surveys of manufacturing, transportation, retail, and wholesale trade. The program also includes annual and sub-annual surveys on farm income and prices, and 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 (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 assists large, complex, business enterprises with data collection requirements.

Table 7 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015/2016
Planned Spending
2016/2017
Planned Spending
2017/2018
Planned Spending
43,582,689 44,498,150 44,801,538
Table 8 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015/2016 2016/2017 2017/2018
399 393 390
Table 9 Performance Measurement
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Canadians and public and private sector organizations use the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing and Monthly Survey of Retail and Wholesale Trade for monitoring the economy, research, and policy development. Timeliness of release 90% March 31, 2016
Level of accuracy achieved 90% March 31, 2016

Planning Highlights

Statistics Canada conducts a wide range of business surveys that covers all sectors of the Canadian economy. The Integrated Business Survey Program, now underway, is an initiative that is intended to increase efficiency and make the survey infrastructure more robust. When completed, it will provide a common processing environment for approximately 150 business surveys. Electronic data collection will be the primary data-collection method and greater use will be made of administrative data. This program will generate savings, improve data quality and ease respondent burden.
Several other surveys are also being redesigned. The Agency has made changes to the surveys in the Energy Statistics Program that address data gaps, improve data quality and reduce response burden.

Sub-program 1.3: Economy-wide Business Statistics

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 (IMF).

Table 10 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015/2016
Planned Spending
2016/2017
Planned Spending
2017/2018
Planned Spending
49,142,308 50,115,097 50,796,086
Table 11 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015/2016 2016/2017 2017/2018
475 468 468
Table 12 Performance Measurement
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Canadians and public and private sector organizations use the Consumer Price Index, Canadian International Merchandise Trade and Quarterly Financial Statistics for Enterprises for monitoring the economy, research, and policy development. Timeliness of release 90% March 31, 2016
Level of accuracy achieved 90% March 31, 2016

Planning Highlights

In 2015/2016, the Agency will continue to publish current economic indicators on consumer and producer prices, international merchandise imports and exports, and firms' financial statements, within two months of the reference period.

In the coming year, the Agency will build on the work done under the recently completed multi-year Consumer Price Index (CPI) Enhancement Initiative. The CPI is Canada's most-cited measure of inflation. Additional improvements will increase the relevance and the robustness of the CPI and ensure that it better serves the needs of households, businesses and the public sector. Particular highlights include the development of a cyclical maintenance program to ensure that the CPI's methods and systems are always up to date, as well as experimentation with various alternate sources of price data to see whether the traditional reliance on in-store collection can be reduced.

Statistics Canada continues to make progress in the development of producer price indices, particularly for service-industry outputs. Areas currently under development include brokerage services, investment banking and trusteed pension funds, direct insurance carriers, and building materials. The Agency is continuing with development work to include condominium apartment-style units in the New Housing Price Index.

Statistics Canada is undertaking a survey of advanced technologies used by Canadian businesses. The survey identifies the investment in and use of advanced technologies in the private sector. It also seeks to identify barriers to the use of these technologies. The results will be released in 2015/2016.

Starting in 2015/2016, Statistics Canada will update the processing environment used for the ownership survey conducted under the Corporations Returns Act. This update will enable Statistics Canada to automate the schedules from the recently-updated regulations and increase the flexibility of the program to address emerging data needs, such as globalization, mergers and acquisitions.

Sub-program 1.4: Environmental Statistics

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, ecosystems, sub-soil minerals), natural resource usage, pollution flows and environmental protection expenditures. A detailed, geographically referenced database is maintained, which facilitates environmental studies by eco-region or by water basin.
The program includes an annual, analytical publication 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, as well as various private sector organizations and international institutions.

Table 13 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015/2016
Planned Spending
2016/2017
Planned Spending
2017/2018
Planned Spending
4,940,862 5,130,495 5,087,477
Table 14 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015/2016 2016/2017 2017/2018
38 38 37
Table 15 Performance Measurement
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Canadians and public and private sector organizations use the environmental accounts and statistics on the changing relationship between human activity and Canada's economy for informed debate, research and decision-making on environmental issues. Timeliness of release 90% March 31, 2016
Level of accuracy achieved 90% March 31, 2016

Planning Highlights

Statistics Canada is expanding its environmental statistics program. In consultation with users and stakeholders the Agency has developed a conceptual framework that identifies and prioritizes data gaps in environmental statistics. One part of the framework that has been deemed a priority is the development of a new account estimating changes in land cover or ecosystems and land use in Canada. Providing yearly estimates, this account will be launched in 2016. A second new account, also scheduled to be launched in 2016, will provide yearly estimates of the stock of renewable water available by drainage area.

The Environmental Statistics Program is also updating the documentation available to users on the concepts, sources and methods of the Canadian System of Environmental Accounts. This document will provide an integrated review of the entire set of accounts. In addition, it will reflect the adoption of the United Nations System of Environmental and Economic Accounting as the new international statistical standard. The document will be completed in 2015/2016.

Sub-program 1.5: Analysis of Economic and Environmental Statistics

Description

This program plans, directs, coordinates and conducts a range of data development initiatives and statistical analyses; publishes studies that focus on topics in macroeconomics and microeconomics; uses data from the National Accounts to shed light on current issues; and generates studies on productivity, as well as estimates of multifactor productivity. This program also provides Statistics Canada's assessment of current economic conditions, through the publication of 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.

The program also includes the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research, which allows outside analysts from governments, research institutions and academia to make use of business microdata for research purposes.

Strategic partnerships are entered into with highly trained economists to undertake important policy-relevant economic research on topics, such as productivity, international trade, investment patterns and firm dynamics, while assuring the confidentiality and security of data.

Table 16 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015/2016
Planned Spending
2016/2017
Planned Spending
2017/2018
Planned Spending
3,723,149 3,846,037 3,903,549
Table 17 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015/2016 2016/2017 2017/2018
32 32 32
Table 18 Performance Measurement
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Canadians and 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. Number of professional citations 1,000 March 31, 2016

Planning Highlights

The Analytical Studies Program integrates and analyzes data collected by Statistics Canada and others to describe Canada's economy and society. In 2015/2016, the program will continue to produce analytical data products, research files, the productivity accounts database that provides a coherent measure of output and of labour and capital inputs at the industry level, tables showing entry or exit and job growth by size class, and multifactor productivity estimates.

In the coming year, Statistics Canada will continue to develop its multifactor productivity program and to enhance the understanding of firm dynamics and the changing nature of the Canadian economy. Specifically, it will develop productivity measures for the health sector, improve the manner in which natural capital is incorporated into the productivity estimates, refine estimates of metropolitan gross domestic product and differences in productivity across cities, and analyze the impact of differences in industrial structure on the Canada–U.S. productivity gap. Statistics Canada will produce analytical reports on firm dynamics, on the importance of the self-employed, on changing trade patterns and on participation in global value chains and their impact on productivity, on the changing nature of the Canadian economy, and on the success of exporters in the manufacturing sector.

The Agency will increase the capacity of the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research (CDER) to review and accept submissions from academic researchers.

Notes

Footnote 1

During a historical revision (also known as a comprehensive revision), the Agency makes changes to concepts, classification and presentation, and makes major statistical changes.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

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