The Canadian Economy

July 1 st 1983

Statistics Canada reported that inflation had dropped to 5.4% in May, the lowest since 1971. The Gross National Product grew by 1.8% during the first quarter of this year—a significant improvement over the 5% drop in GNP during 1982.

Since August 1981, manufacturing employment in Canada dropped 476,000 to 1.759 million jobs in January of this year. By May of 1983, 106,000 (or about 25%) of those jobs had been recovered. However, no significant further reduction in the unemployment rate is foreseen. The large federal deficit is considered by many observers to constitute a serious threat to the economic recovery in Canada, because of its pressure on interest rates.

Canada experienced a surplus of $816 million in trade in automobile products with the U.S. during the first quarter of 1983. Last year Canada's surplus in auto trade with the U.S. was $2.8 billion.

Canada is the fifth richest of its 24 industrial member nations for the year 1981 , according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (0ECD). With a per capita gross domestic product of $11,741, Canada's wealth is surpassed only by Switzerland ($14,778), Norway ($13,937), Sweden ($13,505) and the United States ($12,647). A stronger U.S. dollar has been a major factor in moving Canada up from 12th position in the wealth ranking. Among the seven major nations at the recent Williamsburg summit, Canada ranked second in the categories of national wealth, savings and exports, and first in energy consumption and in public spending on education. (Globe and Mail, May 30, 1983)

 

Harry Antonides came to Canada in 1948, initially working as a farm hand and railway labourer. After over a decade working in a chemical plant in Sarnia, Ontario, Harry joined the newly forming Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) in 1962 as a field representative. By 1970 Harry became director of research and education. In 1974, he was a founding member of the Work Research Foundation (now Cardus) and publisher of their sole publication, Comment magazine. A prolific writer and dynamic speaker, Harry delivered lectures all over North America and published numerous articles, reviews, and essays. He is author of several books on Christianity, labour, and economics, including Multinationals and the Peacable Kingdom (1978) and Stones for Bread: The Social Gospel and its Contemporary Legacy (1985). Harry is retired and lives with his wife Janet in Willowdale, Ontario.

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