Wednesday, 30 April 2014

An Overview of Canadian Economy and Canada’s Top Performing Industries

From a discussion of economic slump and recovery to an exciting discussion about Canada’s CleanTech industry, we have yet to offer a summary of exactly what Canada’s economy looks like and what is currently performing well and what is not.

An Overview of Canadian Economy

As far as Canada’s economy goes, the three major types of industries in Canada are “manufacturing, services, and natural resources” (CanadaFAQ). Canada’s economy is largely dominated by the service sector, while natural resources such as oil and logging are exceedingly important, and Canada still maintains a sizeable manufacturing industry for aircraft and automobiles (CanadaFAQ). Other key industries include chemicals, biopharmaceuticals, wireless communication, agriculture, and energy – the most important in this sector being environmental technologies and renewable energy (including bioenergy, solar, and wind).

Here is a quick overview of Canada’s economic system broken down by industry (CanadaFAQ):

Renewable Energy
Canada is a global leader in solar-power commercialization, development, and research, and also develops waste-to-energy biogas technologies and wind-power generation projects.

Canada is a global producer of machinery mining equipment, metalworking machinery, and agricultural machinery. The aerospace and defence sectors are well developed and the aerospace industry is 5th in the world. The aerospace industry supplies gas-turbine engines, visual simulators, business and regional aircraft, etc. The largest manufacturing sector in the country is the automotive industry and Canada is one of the largest automobile equipment and goods exporters.

Wireless Technologies
Also a leader in wireless technologies, operating in areas such as: RFID, WiMAX, WiFi, fibre-optics, satellite, and broadband applications. The country is also highly invested in Research & Development, one focus being amplifiers and nanomaterials, and technological advancements that will enable reductions in power consumption, weight, and size of wireless equipment.

Also has a competitive and expanding food processing sector and is world-renowned for its high quality wheat and grain products. The beverage and food processing industry is the 2nd largest industrial sector in Canada, accounting for 12% of all manufacturing shipments. Canadian companies produce beef, fish and seafood products, processed fruit and vegetables, wine, beer, and other products. Canada is known for producing healthy, natural, and pure organic foods.

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest growing in the country. Canada is a leader in pharmaceutical production and R&D. Also, the medical devices industry operating in Canada is one of the largest in the world.

Industry Performance

What has been performing particularly well, though, and what has seen a decline in profit?

Canada’s top performing industries are as follows (The Globe and Mail):
  1. Banks, or the financial industry
  2. Transportation
  3. Mining
  4. Technology and Wireless
  5. Retailers
  6. Oil and Gas
  7. Federal Crown Corporations
  8. Financial Co-ops
  9. Provincial Crown Corporations
  10. Investment Dealers
  11. Management Companies
  12. Life Insurance
  13. Gas and Electrical Utilities
  14. Chemicals
  15. Agriculture
  16. Gold and Diamonds
  17. Automotive
  18. Media and Broadcasting

What has done particularly well over the past year is Canada’s financial industry; specifically the Big Six Banks (RBC, TD, Scotia, BMO, CIBC, National Bank of Canada) who, combined, saw “more than $29 billion in profits” in 2012 (The Globe and Mail). Other areas with soaring success were Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. specifically saw an annual return of 110.01% in 2013. Construction and Transportation also soared, as companies like Magna International Inc. saw an annual return of 75.32% in 2013 and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. saw an annual return of 59.22% in 2013 (Shmuel).

Another sector that has done quite well over the past year has been Canada’s Clean Technology Industry, hitting a record $5.8 billion in exports in 2012 and $11.8 billion in annual revenue (Quantiam). There are some very exciting and profitable things happening in this sector, Westport Innovation, which focuses on replacing traditional diesel with Canadian cleantech alternatives, contributed “more than $14 billion to the Canadian economy alone in 2005” (“Project Spotlights”).  

What has suffered loss recently is the gold industry, “tumbl[ing] below $1,500, well back from its high of $1,900 in September 2011” (Canadian Business); Eldorado Gold Corp alone took an annual loss in 2013 of -52.89% (Shmuel). Another struggling sector is mobile technology, specifically RIM/Blackberry, continuing to take a hit in 2013 of -33.05% after already falling 20% in 2012 (Shmuel).  

Although not very in-depth or thorough, this offers a basic glimpse into Canada's economic performance over the last year. 

Amanda Labelle


“Canada’s Top Countries by Industry,” The Globe and Mail, July 3, 2013. Web.

“Canada’s Top Performing Companies: By The Data,” Canadian Business, May 10, 2013. Web.
accessed April 24, 2014.

“Project Spotlights,” Sustainable Development Technology Canada. Web.

“Quantiam News Release,” Web.

Shmuel, John and David Pett, “5 of Canada’s Biggest Market Winners and Losers in 2013,” Financial Post,

No comments:

Post a Comment