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Characterizing Canada’s Export Sector by Industry: A Supply-Side Perspective

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This note examines supply-side trends in Canadian non-energy industries and their implications for export performance. Between 2002 and 2016, capital stocks and total labour input declined in many industries that export non-energy goods. These soft trends in the factors of production have likely contributed to the decline in non-energy exports in about half of the goods industries analyzed in this note. On the other hand, Canada’s service sector has consistently increased its capital stock, workforce and productivity, which has helped it maintain solid production and export growth. Nevertheless, following the 2007–09 global financial crisis, supply-side trends in several goods-exporting sectors have improved, and this has led to partial rebounds in production and exports. Should these recent supply-side trends extend into the future, non-energy exports might struggle to grow in line with foreign activity without further improvements in the rates of capital formation, hiring or productivity.

JEL Code(s): E, E2, E22, E23, E24, F, F1, F19