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Canada's Economic Indicators

Where to Find Canadian Economic Data

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In A Beginner's Guide to Economic Indicators we saw that there for any country there are economic indicators, which are any "economic statistic... which indicate(s) how well the economy is doing and how well the economy is going to do in the future." In order to use these economic indicators, you first need to be able to find them. Here are sources for the major economic indicators for Canada.

Canada - Economic Indicator Overview

If you desire a quick overview of the economy of Canada, the first place to look is the Canadian government's Canadian Economy Online. The Pulse of the Economy section provides monthly data stretching back 10 years for key economic indicators such as the unemployment rate and inflation for Canada. The sidebar also contains dozens of useful links to other sources of Canadian data and information.

Economic Growth in Canada

The system for releasing GDP growth in Canada differs a great deal from the system used in the United States - a blog entry at Worthwhile Canadian Initiative provides a backgrounder on GDP releases in Canada and those in the United States. Statistics Canada page of Economic Accounts for Canada contains the most recent releases of Canada's GDP data. Of particular interest are Gross domestic product by industry which provides monthly real GDP data for Canada and Canadian economic accounts which provides quarterly real GDP data for Canada. Stastics Canada's CANSIM has downloadable quarterly data for real GDP growth in Canada. Note: There is a $3 fee to access the data.

S&P/TSX Composite Index - Main Stock Index for Canada

The Toronto Stock Exchange website contains a great deal of information and news about stock markets in Canada. For data on Canada's major index or any stock in Canada, there are a number of useful websites that contain this information. My favorite of the bunch is Yahoo! Canada - Finance.

Canada's Unemployment Rate

Statistics Canada publishes their Canada Labour Force Survey each month. The survey contains information on the unemployment rate in Canada, how many jobs were gained or lost in the month in Canada, as well as data for individual Canadian provinces. Ten years of Canadian unemployment data can be found at Canadian Economy Online as well as at Trading Economics - Canada Unemployment Rate. I particularly enjoy the latter site due to the graphical treatment of the unemployment rate data.

Inflation Statistics for Canada

Near the middle of each month Statistics Canada releases monthly data on the Consumer Price Index which is typically used to measure inflation. The most recent release for Canada can be found at Latest release from the Consumer Price Index. Historic CPI data can be found at Canada - Consumer Price Index (CPI) History.

A number of sites provide historic monthly data for the rate of inflation in Canada, including Bank of Canada - Consumer Price Index and Canada - Historical Inflation Rates.

Canada's Dollar vs. Other Currencies

There are two sites I visit on an almost daily basis to get the value of Canada's dollar relative to that of other currencies. The first XE.com is terrific if you need a quick, up-to-the minute glance at Canada's dollar vs. other major currencies such as the U.S. Dollar or British Pound. The second site PACIFIC Exchange Rate Service provides a wealth of historical data for the currencies of most countries, including Canada's.

Oil Prices - Vital to Canada's Economy

Because provinces such as Alberta and Newfoundland produce and export so much oil, and because the province of Ontario imports a great deal of oil, changing oil prices affect Canada's GDP growth and trade. The effect is so strong that the value of Canada's dollar can be accurately predicted from oil prices. For up-to-date quotes on the price of oil, I like to use Bloomberg.com - Energy Prices. For historic data, an excellent source is World Crude Oil Prices. Note that both of these sites price oil in U.S. Dollars, not Canada's version of the dollar.

Economic Indicator Data for Canada - Have Your Say

Have a favorite site that you like to use to obtain economic indicator data for Canada? Please let us know about it at this blog entry.

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