Telling Canada's story in numbers
The economy

Release date: October 17, 2017

October 17, 2017

Anil Arora
Chief Statistician of Canada

While Statistics Canada has data on virtually every aspect of the Canadian economy – as well as our society and the environment, this presentation focuses on providing some insights on recent trends in the Canadian economy. Statistics Canada publishes a great deal of economic data that is closely studied to understand the extent to which the economy is growing and changing – and how these changes are distributed across provinces, industries and different segments of the population.

Telling Canada's economic story

  1. Current economic trends
  2. Structural changes
  3. Challenges and opportunities
  4. The economy and environment
  5. What it means for Canadians
  6. Moving forward

1. Current economic trends

Canada is leading the G7 in economic growth in 2017

A line graph of Chart 1
Description for Chart 1
Real GDP, expenditure-based
index (Q1 2000=100)
  Canada France Germany Italy Japan United Kingdom United States
Source: OECD, Quarterly National Accounts.
2000
Q1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Q2 101.2 100.9 101.0 100.8 100.2 100.7 101.9
Q3 102.2 101.6 100.9 101.4 100.2 101.0 102.0
Q4 102.4 102.4 100.9 103.0 101.2 101.2 102.6
2001
Q1 102.9 102.9 102.6 103.4 101.9 102.5 102.3
Q2 103.2 103.1 102.7 102.9 101.3 103.2 102.8
Q3 103.1 103.4 102.4 102.7 100.2 103.9 102.5
Q4 103.7 103.4 102.5 102.6 99.9 104.3 102.8
2002
Q1 105.3 103.8 102.2 102.7 100.0 104.7 103.7
Q2 105.9 104.2 102.5 103.1 100.8 105.5 104.3
Q3 106.8 104.6 102.9 103.4 101.2 106.3 104.8
Q4 107.4 104.6 102.7 103.5 101.6 107.2 104.9
2003
Q1 108.0 104.8 101.5 103.4 101.3 108.1 105.4
Q2 107.8 104.6 101.5 103.0 102.2 109.1 106.4
Q3 108.2 105.3 102.0 103.3 102.7 110.2 108.2
Q4 109.0 106.1 102.4 103.9 103.8 111.1 109.5
2004
Q1 109.8 107.1 102.4 104.4 104.7 111.7 110.1
Q2 111.1 107.7 102.7 104.8 104.6 112.3 110.9
Q3 112.4 108.1 102.5 105.1 105.1 112.5 111.9
Q4 113.2 108.8 102.6 105.1 104.7 113.1 112.9
2005
Q1 113.6 109.1 102.4 105.0 105.2 113.8 114.1
Q2 114.4 109.3 103.1 105.8 106.2 115.0 114.7
Q3 115.8 109.9 103.9 106.5 107.2 116.3 115.6
Q4 117.0 110.6 104.3 106.8 107.4 117.9 116.3
2006
Q1 117.9 111.5 105.3 107.3 107.4 118.2 117.7
Q2 117.9 112.5 107.0 107.9 107.9 118.5 118.0
Q3 118.3 112.6 108.1 108.3 107.7 118.7 118.2
Q4 118.7 113.4 109.5 109.5 108.9 119.1 119.1
2007
Q1 119.5 114.2 109.9 109.8 109.8 120.3 119.2
Q2 120.6 115.1 110.7 109.8 109.8 121.2 120.1
Q3 121.1 115.5 111.7 109.6 109.4 122.1 120.9
Q4 121.3 115.8 112.0 109.6 109.9 123.0 121.3
2008
Q1 121.4 116.2 113.0 110.5 110.4 123.2 120.5
Q2 121.8 115.7 112.7 109.7 109.6 122.4 121.1
Q3 122.8 115.3 112.2 108.2 108.2 120.4 120.5
Q4 121.4 113.7 110.1 105.7 105.9 117.6 117.9
2009
Q1 118.6 111.8 105.1 102.7 100.8 115.7 116.3
Q2 117.3 111.6 105.2 102.1 102.8 115.4 116.2
Q3 117.8 111.8 105.8 102.6 102.7 115.5 116.5
Q4 119.2 112.5 106.8 102.8 104.2 116.0 117.7
2010
Q1 120.7 113.0 107.6 103.2 105.4 116.6 118.2
Q2 121.3 113.7 109.8 104.0 106.4 117.8 119.3
Q3 122.1 114.4 110.7 104.6 108.4 118.5 120.1
Q4 123.5 115.1 111.6 105.1 107.7 118.6 120.9
2011
Q1 124.4 116.3 113.6 105.4 106.1 119.3 120.4
Q2 124.7 116.3 113.8 105.5 105.5 119.4 121.3
Q3 126.4 116.5 114.3 105.0 108.0 119.9 121.5
Q4 127.4 116.7 114.4 104.0 107.8 120.2 122.9
2012
Q1 127.4 116.7 114.7 103.0 109.1 120.7 123.7
Q2 127.9 116.6 114.8 102.2 108.5 120.6 124.3
Q3 128.1 116.8 115.1 101.7 108.1 122.0 124.4
Q4 128.3 116.7 114.6 101.1 108.2 121.7 124.5
2013
Q1 129.6 116.7 114.3 100.0 109.6 122.5 125.3
Q2 130.4 117.5 115.3 100.1 110.6 123.1 125.6
Q3 131.5 117.5 115.9 100.4 111.3 124.0 126.6
Q4 132.8 118.0 116.4 100.3 111.2 124.6 127.8
2014
Q1 132.9 118.1 117.4 100.4 112.4 125.7 127.5
Q2 134.3 118.3 117.2 100.3 110.2 126.9 128.9
Q3 134.9 119.0 117.6 100.5 110.1 127.9 130.6
Q4 135.7 119.0 118.6 100.4 110.9 129.0 131.2
2015
Q1 135.4 119.4 118.8 100.7 112.2 129.3 132.3
Q2 135.2 119.4 119.3 101.0 112.1 129.9 133.2
Q3 136.0 119.9 119.7 101.2 112.4 130.3 133.7
Q4 136.2 120.2 120.2 101.4 112.1 131.2 133.9
2016
Q1 137.1 120.9 120.9 101.7 112.8 131.4 134.1
Q2 136.7 120.8 121.5 101.8 113.2 132.1 134.8
Q3 138.1 121.0 121.9 102.1 113.5 132.8 135.8
Q4 139.0 121.6 122.4 102.5 114.0 133.7 136.3
2017
Q1 140.3 122.2 123.3 103.0 114.4 134.0 136.8
Q2 141.8 122.8 124.1 103.4 115.5 134.4 137.8

This follows two years of slower growth in 2015 and 2016

A bar chart of Chart 2
Description for Chart 2
Provincial and Territorial real GDP growth
2010-2016
% change in realy GDP
  2016 Average 2010-2015
CA 1.50 2.3
NL 1.9 1.0
PE 2.4 1.6
NS 0.9 0.6
NB 1.4 0.4
QC 1.7 1.5
ON 2.6 2.3
MB 2.4 2.3
SK -1.0 3.3
AB -3.8 3.8
BC 3.7 2.8
YT 8.2 1.4
NT -0.1 0.3
NU 3.9 6.1

2. Structural changes

The economy is undergoing structural changes

A line graph of Chart 3
Description for Chart 3
Goods and services producing industries' share of real GDP
  Goods-producing industries
% share of goods
Service-producing industries
% share of services
2002 34.26614 65.9046
2003 33.98616 66.16253
2004 33.87998 66.26058
2005 33.6479 66.47458
2006 32.81416 67.24476
2007 32.05666 67.94334
2008 31.30444 68.69556
2009 29.09247 70.90753
2010 29.66049 70.33951
2011 29.98488 70.01512
2012 29.97765 70.02235
2013 30.07649 69.92351
2014 30.24145 69.75855
2015 29.50372 70.49628
2016 29.015 70.985
A line graph and bar chart of Chart 4
Description for Chart 4
Canada's International Balance of Payments - billions of dollars
  Goods Other current account Total
Note(s): Data are seasonally adjusted
08
Q1 11996 -8,519 3477
Q2 15660 -10,409 5251
Q3 14720 -10,828 3892
Q4 1293 -12,281 -10988
09
Q1 -732 -10,087 -10819
Q2 -2122 -8,995 -11117
Q3 -3165 -9,965 -13130
Q4 -753 -10,372 -11125
10
Q1 -801 -12,710 -13511
Q2 -2147 -12,576 -14723
Q3 -6176 -14,021 -20197
Q4 -580 -10,989 -11569
11
Q1 -304 -13,325 -13629
Q2 -2440 -11,555 -13995
Q3 1455 -11,621 -10166
Q4 1856 -13,147 -11291
12
Q1 -1198 -12,297 -13495
Q2 -4465 -13,153 -17618
Q3 -5169 -12,366 -17535
Q4 -2456 -14,576 -17032
13
Q1 -1756 -13,666 -15422
Q2 -1417 -14,511 -15928
Q3 -2489 -11,922 -14411
Q4 -2483 -12,877 -15360
14
Q1 1864 -13,361 -11497
Q2 2010 -13,236 -11226
Q3 1952 -12,729 -10777
Q4 -1977 -12,730 -14707
15
Q1 -6670 -11,518 -18188
Q2 -5762 -10,695 -16457
Q3 -5304 -11,009 -16313
Q4 -5266 -11,329 -16595
16
Q1 -6725 -10,977 -17702
Q2 -10983 -7,860 -18843
Q3 -8360 -10,279 -18639
Q4 68 -11,852 -11784
17
Q1 -1942 -10,979 -12921
Q2 -5199 -11,120 -16319

Commodity prices, particularly for energy, have become increasingly important for the Canadian economy

A line graph of Chart 5
Description for Chart 5
Growth in household consumption, business investment and exports
2007=100
Date Household consumption Exports of goods and services Gross domestic product at market prices Business Investment
Mar-07 100 100 100 100
Jun-07 101.5019 101.5622 100.9651 100.5669
Sep-07 102.4372 99.79021 101.3847 100.7848
Dec-07 104.2921 97.37741 101.5267 102.1493
Mar-08 105.1203 96.0087 101.5869 104.0147
Jun-08 105.2321 96.828 101.9393 103.2733
Sep-08 105.2848 96.07103 102.7897 102.247
Dec-08 104.0066 91.65793 101.6008 96.84025
Mar-09 103.6591 83.74415 99.2794 85.10415
Jun-09 104.5435 80.35328 98.18394 83.86597
Sep-09 105.6687 82.50362 98.62823 85.5359
Dec-09 106.3947 84.51893 99.79332 89.00175
Mar-10 107.5911 85.65058 100.9822 92.86752
Jun-10 108.4907 88.43733 101.5014 95.12045
Sep-10 109.3717 88.43325 102.2263 96.50496
Dec-10 110.3634 90.60307 103.3819 98.81497
Mar-11 110.5596 90.70824 104.1463 100.7451
Jun-11 111.0672 89.34789 104.3441 102.6414
Sep-11 111.5266 94.3473 105.7923 104.0925
Dec-11 112.226 95.5257 106.6282 106.1056
Mar-12 112.8818 95.34336 106.6622 109.1164
Jun-12 113.0159 95.27362 107.0143 110.2545
Sep-12 113.6978 94.5556 107.2254 110.2263
Dec-12 114.3188 94.53112 107.3561 111.3824
Mar-13 115.0242 96.13725 108.4624 112.1728
Jun-13 116.0446 97.77379 109.1656 113.097
Sep-13 116.902 97.43769 110.0601 113.4402
Dec-13 117.6526 98.5315 111.1694 114.3949
Mar-14 118.1885 98.20709 111.2252 113.3401
Jun-14 119.3616 103.7539 112.376 115.0317
Sep-14 120.1406 105.0573 112.9154 116.8611
Dec-14 120.8674 105.3049 113.599 116.4099
Mar-15 120.9438 104.9679 113.3161 111.2906
Jun-15 121.5484 106.3149 113.1917 108.7847
Sep-15 122.3583 107.8055 113.8482 107.5045
Dec-15 122.8879 107.2249 113.9979 105.5613
Mar-16 123.6198 109.4105 114.7746 104.9655
Jun-16 124.3181 105.4757 114.3803 104.519
Sep-16 125.25 107.8292 115.5491 104.7749
Dec-16 126.1657 108.0486 116.3188 101.8943
Mar-17 127.6491 108.4586 117.3781 105.0935
Jun-17 129.0987 110.9775 118.6631 105.6666

3. Challenges and opportunities

A number of important sectors are emerging.

A line graph of Chart 6
Description for Chart 6
Value Added - Computer systems design and related services
2007=100
Year All industries Service-producing industries Computer systems design and related services
2007 100 100 100
2008 100.658 101.7724 105.0162
2009 97.34405 101.5909 107.4998
2010 100.4935 104.0376 107.8179
2011 103.7761 106.9405 114.4063
2012 105.6556 108.8885 114.4858
2013 108.2051 111.3587 121.2271
2014 111.0489 114.0158 129.7853
2015 112.2767 116.4955 138.1905
2016 113.9098 119.0093 148.7184
A line graph of Chart 7
Description for Chart 7
Information and communication technology
GDP
  ICT manufacturing ICT services
2007 5,222 57,248
2008 5,145 58,333
2009 4,546 57,634
2010 4,811 59,677
2011 4,712 62,355
2012 4,102 63,227
2013 3,469 64,087
2014 3,449 66,058
2015 3,457 67,413
2016 3,530 69,306
  • Financial and insurance services
  • Clean technology
  • Information services
  • Disruptive 'digital' goods and services

Foreign demand has been on the decline but still accounts for a large share of economic activity

A bar chart of Chart 8
Description for Chart 8
Share of GDP from exports
percentage
Geography Rest of the world United States
NL 15 19
PE 4 9
NS 4 7
NB 5 11
QC 7 12
ON 6 14
MB 7 12
SK 11 24
AB 4 24
BC 8 10
YT 8 6
NT 21 4
NU 8 7
CA 6 15

The U.S. dominates trade and investment flows

A map of the world for Chart 9
Description for Chart 9
Intensity of trade balances

Map: The U.S. dominates trade and investment flows. This a map of the world. Regions have been shaded in different colours to show the varying intensity of the trade balances for each region.

  • Dark red = Less than -$1 billion
  • Light red = -$1 million to -$1 billion
  • Yellow = +$1 million to -$1 million
  • Light green = +$1 million to +$1 billion
  • Dark green = Greater than +$1 billion

Our reliance on the U.S. economy

Canada and the World Statistics Hub – United States — Employment — Activities of majority-owned affiliates

A screenshot of a data visualization for Chart 10
Description for Chart 10
Canada and the World Statistics Hub – United States

Employment — Activities of majority-owned affiliates

Source(s): CANSIM tables 376-0154 and 376-0065.

Canada and the World Statistics Hub – United States — Trade — Merchandise, by Ontario and Michigan

A screenshot of a data visualization for Chart 11
Description for Chart 11
Canada and the World Statistics Hub – United States

Trade – Merchandise by province and state: Ontario and Michigan, July 2017

Source(s): CANSIM table 228-0080.

Interprovincial trade is becoming increasingly important

Visualizing domestic regional trade flows in Canada — Domestic trade flow map (divided)

A screenshot of a data visualization for Chart 12
Description for Chart 12
Visualizing domestic regional trade flows in Canada — Domestic trade flow map (divided)

Interprovincial trade is becoming increasingly important

Source: The data for this map references 2012, see CANSIM table 386-0004.

4. The economy and environment

Economic activity and the environment.

A bar chart of Chart 13
Description for Chart 13
GHG emissions (in tonnes) per $1000 of consumption, selected commodities, 2013
Commodities GHG emissions
Wood pulp and newsprint 2.44
Livestock and livestock products 2.40
Paperboard 2.35
Electricity 2.10
Ammonia and chemical fertilizers 1.82
Pesticides and other agricultural chemicals 1.76
Water freight transportation services 1.43
Crude oil and natural gas 1.37
Cement 1.37
Meat products 1.34
Iron and steel basic shapes and ferro-alloy products 1.33
Grains 1.32

5. What it means for Canadians

Employment growth has been in step with economic growth in recent years

A bar chart of Chart 14
Description for Chart 14
Employment growth, by province
percentage
Geography Average annual rate of employment growth, 2010-2015 Annual employment growth, 2016
Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM table: 282-0002.
Canada 1.2 0.7
NL 1.6 -1.5
PE 1.2 -2.3
NS 0.0 -0.4
NB -0.4 -0.1
QC 1.0 0.9
ON 1.2 1.1
MB 1.0 -0.4
SK 1.5 -0.9
AB 2.1 -1.6
BC 0.9 3.2

The impact of commodity prices on national income

A bar chart of Chart 15
Description for Chart 15
Annual % change Gross National Income
Year Annual % Change Gross National Income
2001 3.3%
2002 4.6%
2003 5.2%
2004 6.8%
2005 6.6%
2006 5.8%
2007 5.6%
2008 5.0%
2009 -5.4%
2010 5.8%
2011 6.6%
2012 3.1%
2013 4.4%
2014 4.4%
2015 0.3%
2016 2.2%

Households are taking on more debt, but debt service costs are significantly lower than previous decades

A bar chart of Chart 16
Description for Chart 16
Household income devoted to servicing the interest on household debt, 1991 and 2015
Geography 1991 2015
Canada 10.8 6.39
Newfoundland and Labrador 8.21 4.96
Prince Edward Island 10.6 5.41
Nova Scotia 10.74 5.81
New Brunswick 9.41 4.9
Quebec 10.24 5.78
Ontario 11.42 6.9
Manitoba 9.54 5.27
Saskatchewan 10.87 5.64
Alberta 10.13 6
British Columbia 11.47 7.21
Yukon 8.21 4.87
Northwest Territories   3.81
Nunavut   1.91
Northwest Territories Inc. Nunavut 5.11  

The distribution of national net worth by net worth quintile

Two bar charts for Chart 17
Description for Chart 17
Net worth distributed by net worth quintile - 1998/1999
Quintile Canada (1999) U.S. (1998)
Quintile 1   -0.30%
Quintile 2 2.60% 1.40%
Quintile 3 8.80% 5.10%
Quintile 4 20.10% 12.40%
Quintile 5 68.60% 81.40%
Net worth distributed by net worth quintile - 2012/2013
Quintile Canada (2012) U.S. (2013)
Quintile 1 -0.10% -0.70%
Quintile 2 2.20% 0.60%
Quintile 3 9.00% 3.20%
Quintile 4 21.50% 9.80%
Quintile 5 67.40% 87.00%

6. Moving forward

Statistics Canada is responding to complex demands of the economy and society

  • Greater access to data
  • More detailed data
  • More responsive data
  • Greater capacity to use data
  • Foreign ownership of residential housing
  • Detailed geographic information on housing values and financing
  • Clean technology and the transition towards a low-carbon economy
  • Non-medical consumption of cannabis
  • The emerging 'digital' economy
  • Culture and tourism
  • The size, value and state of Canada's infrastructure
  • Foreign investment and trade business dynamics and productivity