Canada: Economy#

As a high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. In addition, the country's petroleum sector is rapidly expanding, because Alberta's oil sands significantly boosted Canada's proven oil reserves. Canada now ranks third in the world in proved oil reserves behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and is the world’s fifth-largest oil producer.

The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (which includes Mexico) touched off a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US, its principal trading partner. Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with the US, which absorbs about three-fourths of Canadian merchandise exports each year. Canada is the US's largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, and electric power, and a top source of US uranium imports.

Given its abundant natural resources, highly skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, Canada enjoyed solid economic growth from 1993 through 2007. Buffeted by the global economic crisis, the economy dropped into a sharp recession in the final months of 2008, and Ottawa posted its first fiscal deficit in 2009 after 12 years of surplus. Canada's major banks, however, emerged from the financial crisis of 2008-09 among the strongest in the world, owing to the early intervention by the Bank of Canada and the financial sector's tradition of conservative lending practices and strong capitalization. Canada achieved marginal growth in 2010-15, despite the recent drop in oil prices.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.674 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.655 trillion (2015 est.)
$1.638 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.532 trillion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.2% (2016 est.)
1.1% (2015 est.)
2.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$46,200 (2016 est.)
$46,200 (2015 est.)
$46,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving19.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
22% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 57.9%
government consumption: 21.3%
investment in fixed capital: 22.2%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 31.9%
imports of goods and services: -33.6% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 1.6%
industry: 27.7%
services: 70.7% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; fish; forest products
Industriestransportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products, petroleum, natural gas
Industrial production growth rate-0.3% (2016 est.)
Labor force19.42 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 2%
manufacturing: 13%
construction: 6%
services: 76%
other: 3% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate7.1% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line9.4%
note: this figure is the Low Income Cut-Off, a calculation that results in higher figures than found in many comparable economies; Canada does not have an official poverty line (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 24.8% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index32.1 (2005)
31.5 (1994)
Budgetrevenues: $594.7 billion
expenditures: $632.4 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues38.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt98.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
98.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: figures are for gross general government debt, as opposed to net federal debt; gross general government debt includes both intragovernmental debt and the debt of public entities at the sub-national level
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.6% (2016 est.)
1.1% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate1% (31 December 2010)
0.25% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate2.7% (31 December 2016 est.)
2.78% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$635.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$568.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$1.486 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.47 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.932 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.642 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.593 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.095 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$2.114 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Current account balance-$56.73 billion (2016 est.)
-$48.97 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$402.4 billion (2016 est.)
$411 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmotor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, electricity, aluminum
Exports - partnersUS 76.7% (2015)
Imports$419 billion (2016 est.)
$428.7 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals, electricity, durable consumer goods
Imports - partnersUS 53.1%, China 12.2%, Mexico 5.8% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$82.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$79.75 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$1.608 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$1.55 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.099 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.065 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.334 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.256 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesCanadian dollars (CAD) per US dollar -
1.331 (2016 est.)
1.2788 (2015 est.)
1.2788 (2014 est.)
1.0298 (2013 est.)
0.9992 (2012 est.)