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Overview: As an affluent, high-tech industrial society, Canada today closely resembles the US in per capita output, market-oriented economic system, and pattern of production. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. Canada started the 1990s in recession, and real rates of growth have averaged only 1.1% so far this decade. Because of slower growth, Canada still faces high unemployment – especially in Quebec and the Maritime Provinces – and a large public sector debt. With its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, however, Canada will enjoy better economic prospects in the future. The continuing constitutional impasse between English- and French-speaking areas is raising the possibility of a split in the confederation, making foreign investors somewhat edgy.

GDP: Purchasing power parity – $721 billion (1996 est.) Real growth rate: 1.4% (1996 est.) Per capita: purchasing power parity – $25,000 (1996 est.)

Composition by sector: Agriculture: 3% Industry: 31% Services : 66% (1996)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 1.4% (1996)

Labor force: Total: 15.1 million (1996) By occupation : Services 74%, Manufacturing 15%, Agriculture 3%, Construction 5%, Other 3% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 9.7% (December 1996)

Budget: Revenues: $94.3 billion Expenditures: $115.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.7 billion (FY95/96 est.)

Industries: processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, transportation equipment, chemicals, fish products, petroleum and natural gas

Industrial production growth rate: 1.3% (1996)

Electricity – Capacity: 113.65 million kW (1994) Production: 547.9 billion kWh (1995) Consumption per capita: 16,137 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; forest products; commercial fisheries provide annual catch of 1.5 million metric tons, of which 75% is exported

Exports: total value: $195.4 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.) Commodities : newsprint, wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, machinery, natural gas, aluminum, motor vehicles and parts; telecommunications equipment Partners: US, Japan, UK, Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, China

Imports: total value: $169.5 billion (c.i.f., 1996 est.) Commodities: crude oil, chemicals, motor vehicles and parts, durable consumer goods, electronic computers; telecommunications equipment and parts Partners: US, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea Debt – external: $253 billion (1996) Economic aid: Donor: ODA, $1.6 billion (1995) note : ODA and OOF commitments, $10.1 billion (1986-91) Currency: 1 Canadian dollar (Can$) = 100 cents

Fiscal year: 1 April – 31 March

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