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Economy, Finance and Trade: Canada

March 2021

Canada’s economy experienced a sharp contraction in 2020, due to the COVID-19 crisis and an oil price shock. The economy is anticipated to witness strong recovery over the 2021-2022 period, driven by the widespread COVID-19 vaccine rollout and supportive macroeconomic policy actions. Nevertheless, heightened global uncertainty, weak trade, subdued productivity growth, a slow labour market recovery, and high public debt pose risks to long-term economic development.

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The Country Briefings series examine market potential, economic and consumer trends impacting each country and how they are set to change.

Each Country Briefing covers one of these topics:

Economy, Finance and Trade: Understanding the structure, health and potential risks of an economy are important for decision-making within an existing operating environment as well as for expansion strategies. Real GDP growth, inflation and exchange rate fluctuations will directly impact consumer market potential. Import and export trade profiles help gauge how open an economy is to trade and investment, while analysis of government finances can be used to explore macroeconomic stability and susceptibility to economic shocks.

Income and Expenditure: Insights into income, wealth and expenditure of consumers are vital in helping businesses make strategic decisions with regards to which country (or even which region within a country) to enter, which consumer segment to target, which products or services to market, and at which price point. Other factors such as the size and expansion of the middle class and income inequality are also important in helping companies gauge the potential of a country market.

Households: Global shifts in gender, ageing, migration and housing are transforming the size, location,  general make-up as well as income and expenditure of households around the globe, with diverse implications for governments and companies. Households insights can help identify the decision-making processes and consumption tastes of different household groups and types within a country, and assess household appliance and digital readiness that is key for formulating market technology and internet strategies.

Business Dynamics: A stable and competitive business environment is vital to operate efficiently and attract inward investment. Businesses can assess these factors alongside challenges such as corruption, political instability and terrorism, also gain insight into business operating environment and make strategic investment decisions. Transport infrastructure, ICT readiness and labour force dynamics will also identify potential issues with a supply chain and the level of workforce skills.

Sustainability: Insights on key sectors directly related to the environmental sustainability of a country such as energy, water, pollution, environmental resilience, forest and biodiversity and food and agriculture help businesses to make strategic decisions in relation to environmental and sustainability trends, improve brand reputation and ensure long-term operations while ultimately growing the bottom line.

The briefings cover 103 countries and identify topics of crucial interest to planners, marketers and researchers.

Economy, Finance and Trade: Canada



Canada is projected to witness strong economic recovery over the medium term
The Bank of Canada pledged to keep monetary policy accommodative amid muted inflation
Canada to remain heavily reliant on trade with the US
Foreign investment in Canada deteriorated amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Public debt levels reached an all-time high in 2020 and are set to remain elevated over the medium term



Chart 1 Economic Landscape of Canada: 2020 Chart 2 Real GDP Growth in Canada: 2010-2040 Chart 3 GDP Size and Growth: 2015-2040 Chart 4 Gross Value Added by Sector in Canada: 2020 Chart 5 Domestic Demand: 2015 and 2020 Chart 6 Standartised Business Confidence Index: 2010-2021 Chart 7 Standartised Consumer Confidence Index: 2010-2021 Chart 8 Productivity: 2015 and 2020 Chart 9 Productivity by Sector in Canada: 2020


Chart 10 Monetary Landscape of Canada: 2020 Chart 11 Inflation: 2010-2040 Chart 12 Average Inflation: 2010-2040 Chart 13 Interest Rates in Canada: 2010-2021 Chart 14 Exchange Rates: 2010-2020 Chart 15 Money Supply Growth and Money Velocity in Canada: 2015-2021


Chart 16 Foreign Trade Landscape of Canada: 2020 Chart 17 Exports in Canada: 2014-2021 Chart 18 Exports by Commodity in Canada: 2020 Chart 19 Top 10 Export Destinations: 2020 Chart 20 Imports in Canada: 2014-2021 Chart 21 Imports by Commodity in Canada: 2020 Chart 22 Top 10 Import Origins: 2020


Chart 23 Investment Landscape of Canada: 2020 Chart 24 FDI intensity: 2019 Chart 25 Foreign Direct Investment Inflows and Outflows in Canada: 2014-2019 Chart 26 Gross Fixed Capital Formation in Canada: 2010-2021


Chart 27 Government Budget Landscape of Canada: 2020 Chart 28 Public Debt: 2020 Chart 29 Government Revenue: 2020 Chart 30 Government Expenditure: 2020 Chart 31 Government Expenditure by Economic Type in Canada: 2020 Chart 32 Government Expenditure by Function in Canada: 2020


Chart 33 Top 2 Biggest Global Risks vs. Baseline Scenario: Canada

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