Statistics Canada details economic data

Oct 1, 2012 | News


By Mamta Lulla

Statistics Canada published revisions to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers Monday, as part of the effort to create a more detailed breakdown of productivity that will be applied to important economic indicators in the next two months.

These revisions include quarterly GDP, balance of payments, labour productivity and provincial/territorial economic accounts.

StatsCan is adding new categories of  economic data. COURTESY: FLICKR COMMONS

The federal data agency has been working towards these changes for the past two years in order to comply with the new international standards that came out in 2009.

Diana Petramala, economist at TD Bank told Humber News, “The changes involve re-shuffling of categories, which has made the picture clearer.”

Pertamala added the spending on each component is clear because of the addition of some categories.

“So for example, they have included military weaponry so there’s (a) full defense component. Previously, this (number) would have been part of government spending. So the re-shuffling has been well defined,” Petramala said.

Paul Jacobson, a consulting economist from Toronto told CBC “It’s going to make things clearer about what the devil is going on.”

A press release from Stats Canada states the new standards incorporate changes to classification of sectors, industries and categories of transactions. The changes also apply to the terminology, presentation formats and basic definitions.

Director of income and expenditure at Stats Canada, James Tebrake told CBC, “There’s no real change in the economic history of Canada. I think at the end of the day it’s a more relevant product. Anyone who does forecasts has much better data at their disposal.”

Some upcoming release dates for the revisions include:

October 12: Labour productivity for the business sector, 1981 to second quarter 2012.
October 15: National balance sheet accounts, 1990 to second quarter 2012.
November 19: Provincial and territorial economic accounts, 2007 to 2011, and 2009 National and provincial input–output tables.
November 30: Financial flow accounts, 1990 to fourth quarter 2011.