Canada Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

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. Canada has a large oil and natural gas sector with the majority of crude oil production derived from oil sands in the western provinces, especially Alberta. Canada now ranks third in the world in proved oil reserves behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and is the world’s seventh-largest oil producer.

TThe 1989 Canada-US Free Trade Agreement and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (which includes Mexico) dramatically increased trade and economic integration between the US and Canada. Canada and the US enjoy the world’s most comprehensive bilateral trade and investment relationship, with goods and services trade totaling more than $680 billion in 2017, and two-way investment stocks of more than $800 billion. Over three-fourths of Canada’s merchandise exports are destined for the US each year. Canada is the largest foreign supplier of energy to the US, including oil, natural gas, and electric power, and a top source of US uranium imports.

Given its abundant natural resources, highly skilled labor force, and modern capital stock, Canada enjoyed solid economic growth from 1993 through 2007. The global economic crisis of 2007-08 moved the Canadian economy into sharp recession by late 2008, and Ottawa posted its first fiscal deficit in 2009 after 12 years of surplus. Canada's major banks emerged from the financial crisis of 2008-09 among the strongest in the world, owing to the financial sector's tradition of conservative lending practices and strong capitalization. Canada’s economy posted strong growth in 2017 at 3%, but most analysts are projecting Canada’s economic growth will drop back closer to 2% in 2018.

Real GDP growth rate

1.66% (2019 est.)

2.02% (2018 est.)

3.17% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 149

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.9% (2019 est.)

2.2% (2018 est.)

1.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 107

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: AA+ (2020)

Moody's rating: Aaa (2002)

Standard & Poors rating: AAA (2002)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1,843,053,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,813,028,000,000 (2018 est.)

$1,777,241,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 16

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1,741,865,000,000 (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$49,031 (2019 est.)

$48,924 (2018 est.)

$48,634 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 32

Gross national saving

19.9% of GDP (2019 est.)

19.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

20% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 105

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 28.2% (2017 est.)

services: 70.2% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 57.8% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 20.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 30.9% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -33.2% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 79.6 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 98.2 (2020)

Trading score: 88.4 (2020)

Enforcement score: 57.1 (2020)

Agricultural products

wheat, rapeseed, maize, barley, milk, soybeans, potatoes, oats, peas, pork


transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products, petroleum, natural gas

Industrial production growth rate

4.9% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 60

Labor force

18.136 million (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 2%

industry: 13%

services: 6%

industry and services: 76%

manufacturing: 3% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate

5.67% (2019 est.)

5.83% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 92

Population below poverty line

9.4% (2008 est.)

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

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

33.3 (2017 est.)

31.5 (1994)

country comparison to the world: 128

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 24.8% (2000)


revenues: 649.6 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 665.7 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

39.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 77

Public debt

89.7% of GDP (2017 est.)

91.1% of GDP (2016 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

country comparison to the world: 25

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

-$35.425 billion (2019 est.)

-$42.862 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 201


$618.762 billion (2019 est.)

$610.926 billion (2018 est.)

$589.222 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

Exports - partners

US 73% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, cars and vehicle parts, gold, refined petroleum, natural gas (2019)


$629.402 billion (2019 est.)

$627.162 billion (2018 est.)

$606.814 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Imports - partners

US 57%, China 11%, Mexico 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, delivery trucks, crude petroleum, refined petroleum (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$86.68 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$82.72 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Debt - external

$2,124,887,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,949,796,000,000 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Exchange rates

Canadian dollars (CAD) per US dollar -

1.28035 (2020 est.)

1.3228 (2019 est.)

1.32925 (2018 est.)

1.2788 (2014 est.)

1.0298 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Canada on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Canada 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Canada 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.