Sunday, October 18, 2015

Canada Versus Australia Versus New Zealand Versus Ontario Productivity Growth

With low GDP growth in Ontario since basically the Harris years and population growth close to 1% annually, that pretty much means productivity growth has been low for a long time. That's not surprising, considering the collapse of manufacturing in Ontario (mainly automotive) and a switch to a low productivity growth services based economy.

With regards to that, there's a blog post the blog Utopia - You Are Standing In It comparing productivity in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The blog post is entitled "Is Canada diverging from Australia in labour productivity to become like New Zealand?" It shows an excellent chart of GDP per capita (actually those from 15 to 64) from 1956 to 2013 for Australia, Canada and New Zealand. After starting at a similar level (which surprised me for New Zealand which I thought would have been lower in 1956), Australia and Canada diverge from New Zealand. However from 2000, Australia diverges higher from Canada. The year 2008 seems to be a particularly bad year for Canada versus Australia, likely due to manufacturing collapse in Ontario.

I would like to see the numbers for 2014 and the first half of 2015 for Canada versus Australia as the recent slowdown of China and coal mining would appear to cause some problems for Australia.

However what I would like to see most is Ontario added to the chart because I think it would illuminate the post 2000 period where Canada diverged from Australia, as Ontario was the drag on the Canadian economy. 

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