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Canada Economy

Canada extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the second largest country in size in the world and shares its border with the United States of America.

Canada’s economy is a mixed economy and the country is one of the most important suppliers of agricultural products. The Canadian Prairies are one of the biggest contributors of wheat and other grains. Atlantic Canada has vast deposits of natural gas and oil as well. Canada is the biggest producer of zinc, uranium and is a big source of global gold, nickel, lead and aluminum. 

After witnessing solid economic growth between 1993 and 2007, Canada’s economy went into a severe recession in 2008. Consequently, the country recorded its first-ever fiscal deficit in 2009. Canada’s conservative lending practices have, however, enabled its banking segment to recover fast and emerge stronger from the global financial crisis.

Although the services segment contributes nearly two thirds of Canada’s GDP, manufacturing, especially the automobile industry, also plays a significant role in the country’s economic growth. The country’s services segment includes retail, communication, real estate, financial services, health and education (both under the government’s purview), entertainment, technology and tourism.

The proportion of Canada’s GDP devoted to agriculture has declined significantly, but the nation still remains one of the biggest exporters of agricultural products, including wheat and grains, to the US, Europe and East Asia. Low labor costs, a publicly funded health care system and a highly educated population have attracted several American and Japanese automobile majors to set up their manufacturing plants in Central Canada.

One of the wealthiest nations in the world, Canada’s considerable natural resources allow it to play a significant role in international trade. Canada’s economic profile is quite similar to that of the United States, as reflected in its market-oriented economic system.

Canada’s natural resources are spread across its various regions. While the oil industry is important in Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northern Ontario houses a large number of mines of coal, copper, iron ore and gold. The British Columbia region is famous for forestry, while the fishing industry is quite strong in the Atlantic Provinces.

Canada’s biggest trading partner is the US. Here are some important trade related facts about Canada:
  • Nearly 80% of its exports are to the US
  • Over 65% of Canada’s imports are from the US
  • Canada is the largest foreign supplier of energy to the US
  • The national electricity grids of the two countries are linked to each other
  • The commodity sector is the largest trade component
In addition, the US is the largest foreign investor in Canada, with investments primarily targeted at the latter’s mining, smelting, petroleum, chemical and machinery segments.
  • GDP (real growth rate): -2.4%
  • Unemployment rate: 8.5%
  • Consumer Price inflation : 0.2%
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