Canada’s economy moved up to a ranking of sixth among 16 countries assessed by the Conference Board of Canada in its report for 2012, How Canada Performs: Economy.
While Canada retained a B grade and improved its ranking from 11th in the last pre-recession report for 2008, that is more a reflection of weakness among its peers than a stellar Canadian economy.
“This B grade should be viewed as relative because Canada fares poorly when compared with the top-performing economies. With the exception of inflation and employment growth, Canada ranks far below the best countries on all other economy indicators,” said Glen Hodgson, senior vice-president and chief economist.
“Canada has been a chronic laggard on several important economic indicators — notably, labour productivity growth and competition for global investment. And even in areas where Canada has improved, other countries are still doing better.”
Along with most of its peers, Canada received an A grade on inflation. It was given B grades for gross domestic product (GDP) growth, labour productivity growth, employment growth and the unemployment rate.
But Canada’s overall ranking is pulled down by C grades on income per capita and outward foreign direct investment (FDI) and a D on inward FDI, said the report.
Norway is the top-rated country among the comparator group. It moved from third spot in the report card for 2007 to first position in the 2008 report card, and remains in that position in 2012. Norway continues to lead the class in income per capita — a full $12,000 above that of Canada — and it both weathered the 2008–09 economic recession and shifted into recovery better than most of its peers, said the Conference Board.
Australia is the other peer country to receive an overall A grade, placing second overall. Unlike most of the other countries, Australia never experienced a recession in 2008–09. It received A grades in this report card for GDP growth, labour productivity growth, inflation and the unemployment rate.
How Canada Performs is a multi-year research program at the Conference Board to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada’s socio-economic performance. More information can be found at How Canada Performs.
Conference Board rankings of 16 economics
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