A look into Canada's economy as it achieves what Finance Minister Paul Martin calls "a financial turnaround of historic proportions".According to Porter's Economic Performance Index, a hypothetical measure of a country's economic rating, Canada surpasses most European powers. For a long time, Canada was notorious for its poorly managed finances. Its debt was enormous, its standard of living was falling fast, and the outlook for recovery was bleak. Now, however, according to Minister of Finance Paul Martin, Canada is in the process of achieving "a financial turnaround of historic proportions."
The best part is that these are not mere empty words spoken by a politician hoping for re-election; it is the unadorned truth substantiated by the following facts:
The Canadian government recorded its second consecutive budgetary surplus in 1998-1999. On a total government basis, Canada achieved the largest economic improvement of all the Group of Seven (G-7) countries between 1992 and 1998. The debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio decreased for the third year in a row from 1998-99. In the past two years, the debt has declined by a colossal $16.4 billion. Of Canada’s 10 provinces and 3 territories, 7 provinces and 1 territory achieved a balanced budget or even a surplus in 1998-1999.
In light of such promising facts, even the most conservative economic analysts, including an "eminently cautious" periodical entitled the International Bank Credit Analyst, are sanguine, agreeing that Canada is currently experiencing an economic boom. In late December of 1999, the Canadian dollar rose to a six month high, so that David Geisker at Deutsche Bank projected that through mid-2000, the Canadian dollar would continue to make tremendous gains.
One further way to measure a country’s economic success is by using certain scales and/or ranking systems; among these is Porter’s Economic Performance Index. If a hypothetical country with no debts, no inflation and no unemployment would rank 100 on the Porter scale, Canada is doing quite nicely with its rank of just over 90, surpassing most of the major European powers. Moreover, according to analysts, Canada seems strangely unthreatened by the usual difficulties that tend to beset booming economies, such as inflation, unemployment, budget deficits, and current account deficits.
The help-wanted index, used to measure the number of help-wanted ads in newspapers across the country, shows that employment opportunities are on an upswing, as are salaries, particularly in the field of information technology.
When combined with its low crime levels and record standard of living as determined by the UN’s Human Development Report, Canada becomes the unparalleled destination for all those interested in improving the quality of their lives as a whole.