Home
Economy of Canada PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 12 May 2011 10:29

Canada is one of the world's wealthiest nations, with a high per-capita income, and it is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation andCanada Development (OECD) and the G8. It is one of the world's top ten trading nations. Canada is a mixed market, ranking above the U.S. on the Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom and higher than most western European nations. The largest foreign importers of Canadian goods are the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

In the past century, the growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy to a more industrial and urban one. Like other First World nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians. Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of its primary sector, in which the logging and petroleum industries are two of the most important.

Canada is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy. Atlantic Canada has vast offshore deposits of natural gas, and Alberta has large oil and gas resources. The immense Athabasca Oil Sands give Canada the world's second-largest oil reserves, behind Saudi Arabia.

Canada is one of the world's largest suppliers of agricultural products; the Canadian Prairies are one of the most important producers of wheat, canola, and other grains. Canada is the largest producer of zinc and uranium, and is a global source of many other natural resources, such as gold, nickel, aluminum, and lead. Many towns in northern Canada, where agriculture is difficult, are sustainable because of nearby mines or sources of timber. Canada also has a sizable manufacturing sector centred in southern Ontario and Quebec, with automobiles and aeronautics representing particularly important industries.

In the 1980s, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives abolished the NEP and changed the name of FIRA to "Investment Canada" in order to encourage foreign investment. The Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) of 1988 eliminated tariffs between the two countries, while the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) expanded the free-trade zone to include Mexico in the 1990s. In the mid-1990s, the Liberal government under Jean Chrétien began to post annual budgetary surpluses and steadily paid down the national debt. The 2008 global financial crisis caused a recession, which could increase the country's unemployment rate to 10%. In 2008, Canada's imported goods were worth over $442.9 billion, of which $280.8 billion was from the United States, $11.7 billion from Japan, and $11.3 billion from the United Kingdom. The country’s 2009 trade deficit totaled C$4.8 billion, compared with a C$46.9 billion surplus in 2008.

As of October 2009, Canada's national unemployment rate was 8.6%. Provincial unemployment rates vary from a low of 5.8% in Manitoba to a high of 17% in Newfoundland and Labrador. Between October 2008, and October 2010, the Canadian labour market lost 162,000 full-time jobs and a total of 224,000 permanent jobs. Canada's federal debt is estimated to be $566.7 billion for 2010–11, up from $463.7 billion in 2008–09. Canada’s net foreign debt rose by $40.6-billion to $193.8-billion in the first quarter of 2010.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2011 07:19