At a time when the Bank is expecting a rotation of demand toward exports and investment, and transformative global trends are placing increasing emphasis on innovation, technology and organizational learning, an understanding of the competitiveness strategies of Canadian firms and the factors affecting them has become particularly relevant. This article summarizes findings from a Bank of Canada survey of 151 firms designed to extract signals on elements of firm strategy and organizational capital in order to help inform the macroeconomic outlook.
This article examines three shocks that affected Canada's economy over the past year from a regional perspective. The downturn in the U.S. economy, high energy prices, and low lumber prices affected Canada's regions to varying degrees. The relative size of the various economic sectors in each region is important in determining the intensity of a region's response to an economic shock.
The article presents some stylized facts on the sectoral mix of each region followed by an analysis of the effects of the three shocks on the regional economies. An outlook is presented, which highlights the results of the survey by the Bank's regional offices in the summer of 2001.
The authors examine the recent evolution of commodity prices. They discuss the factors behind the price declines that occurred between the summer of 1997 and the end of 1998, including the key supply factors and the drop in Asian demand caused by that region's concurrent financial and economic crisis. They then review the effects of the reduction in world commodity prices on economic activity in Canada. They point out that the depreciation of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar, together with the continued strength of the U.S. economy, has partly offset the negative effects on Canadian aggregate demand.