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August 2003     Vol. 4, no. 8

Consumer Price Index

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.6% from June2002to June2003, having registered monthly increases of only0.1% in both May and June2003. This 12-month change constitutes the weakest increase since September2002. A large part of this rise came from the hike in the natural gas index (+48.3%), as well as from the22.6% jump in automotive vehicle insurance premiums. Most of the increase in automotive vehicle insurance premiums occurred in earlier months, as they advanced by only0.4% from May to June. The CPI excluding energy increased2.2% from June2002to June2003.

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Canada-Mexico agricultural economies and trade

The research study Canada-Mexico agricultural economies and trade under closer North American relations examines the expanding trading relationship between Canada and Mexico, with particular emphasis on trade in agricultural products.

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Services indicators

First quarter2003The latest edition of Services indicators analyzes the performance of three services industries — Engineering services, Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment rental and leasing, Surveying and mapping services — that grew strongly in2001despite the general economic slowdown that year. In all three industries, revenues from natural resources projects, especially oil and gas, were high. This latest edition includes the article Resiliency in the natural resources service sector."

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Leading indicators

The composite leading index posted a moderate gain of0.3% in June, slightly stronger than the growth over the past year. Six of the 10 components advanced, one more than in May. The rebound in the stock market in recent months continued, reinforced by a firming of housing and an upturn in services. The only components that fell originated in manufacturing.

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Private and public investment

Total capital spending in Canada on plant, equipment and housing should reach the$212billion mark in2003, up2.2% from the February forecast, according to revised intentions of public and private investment.

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Employment, earnings and hours

In May, average weekly earnings for all employees were estimated at$691.38, up$5.04from April. This represents a1.8% increase from May2002.

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Participation and Activity Limitation Survey: Children with disabilities

An estimated155,000Canadian children between 5 and14years old, or4% of all children of this age group, had some form of activity limitation in2001, and many of their parents reported that they weren't getting the help they needed with their child's condition.

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Employment Insurance

The estimated number of Canadians (adjusted for seasonality) receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in May moved up2.7% from April to561,370, marking the fourth consecutive monthly rise. Led by New Brunswick (+5.0%) and Alberta (+4.3%), 10 of the provinces and territories recorded monthly increases.

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2001Census Aboriginal population profile

The2001Census Aboriginal population profile provides information on the Aboriginal identity population for various communities in Canada where the Aboriginal identity population is250or more.

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Corporate failures

Younger companies are more likely to go bankrupt because of shortcomings in managerial knowledge and financial management abilities. In contrast, older firms are more likely to fail because of an inability to adapt to environmental change.

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Labour Force Survey

Employment edged down13,000in July, all in part-time jobs, and the unemployment rate rose slightly to7.8% (+0.1percentage points). Since the start of2003, employment has increased by only0.5%, much slower than the2.3% growth observed in the first seven months of2002. In the United States, employment continued to decline in July and is down0.3% so far in2003.

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Provincial and territorial government finance: Assets and liabilities

At March31,2002, the net debt (defined as the excess of liabilities over financial assets) of provincial and territorial general governments reached$249.4billion, up$7.6billion (+3.2%) from March31,2001. The financial assets stood at$258.6billion, and total liabilities at$507.8billion.

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Retirement savings through registered pension plans and registered retirement savings plans

Data on contributions to registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and participation in employer-sponsored registered pension plans (RPPs) are now available. These data provide longitudinal (1995to2001) and cross-sectional (1991to2001) information on taxfilers for both retirement vehicles.

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Pension plans in Canada

Data on registered pension plans are now available for the period ending January1,2002. The Pension Plans in Canada Survey is a census of employer-sponsored plans. The survey collects information on terms, conditions and membership. Information is derived from administrative data primarily provided by the10pension supervisory authorities.

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