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Industry Economics

The Industry Economics team performs economic research, analysis, and forecasts on Canadian industries. The team’s work is disseminated in many ways, including reports, webinars, presentations, and blog posts. In addition, the team conducts custom research projects and economic forecasts for public and private sector clients.

Our Services

Canadian Industrial Outlook Reports

These are in-depth, biannual economic outlook reports with a five-year forecast for key economic and financial indicators for nearly 20 major Canadian sectors. They provide a detailed analysis of the latest developments and trends affecting industries at the national and provincial levels.

Canadian Industrial Profiles

These brief two-page profiles are designed for smaller industries not covered by our Industrial Outlook service. Published annually, the profiles include an industrial SWOT analysis and a five-year forecast of key economic indicators and industry trends.

Leading Indicator of Industry Profitability

The Leading Indicator of Industry Profitability is a proprietary monthly index designed to predict near-term trends in corporate profitability. The index is calculated for the entire economy, as well as for 49 industries.

Custom Research

Our team of economists brings together over 40 years of experience delivering quality economic research and analysis. Examples of custom work include forecasting exercises, economic impact studies, labour market outlooks, market analyses, literature reviews, case studies, and policy analyses.

Upcoming Webinars

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The Cost of a Cleaner Future: Examining the Economics of Pricing Carbon and Making Deep GHG Emission Reductions

Governments across Canada have committed to moving towards a low carbon future. Despite the recent decision by the United States to withdraw from the Paris Accord, Canada remains keen to significantly reduce its GHG emissions. Achieving deep emission reductions will require a multifaceted approach and the Canadian plan includes pricing carbon and eliminating coal-fired electricity. To get a sense of the economic impact of these types of policies, The Conference Board of Canada, building on research from the Canadian Academy of Engineering, analyzed the economic impact of taxing carbon and moving away from fossil fuels for electricity generation. In the analysis, the economic impacts of a carbon tax starting at $10 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent is discussed as well as the impact of shifting our electricity generation mix.While pricing carbon and shifting the electricity generation mix towards renewables are important components of the emission reductions strategy, a broader approach is necessary to achieve our targets. The Trottier Energy Futures Project (TEFP) examined several possible pathways for Canada to make deep emission reductions. The work done in the TEFP has shown us that it is indeed technically feasible to transition Canada to a low carbon society but doing so will require significant spending commitments. In our study, we aggregated the investment spending required under some of the TEFP scenarios and assessed the economic impact of that investment.Join Alicia Macdonald for a detailed description of the methodology and a presentation of the results of this analysis.

Live Webinar | August 2017 | Alicia Macdonald | The Conference Board of Canada

Canada’s Retail Revolution: Technology Reshapes the Shopping Experience

Canada’s retail sector is in the throes of a technological revolution, affecting everything from e-commerce and online ordering, to the implementation of checkout technology. Technology is reshaping the retail experience for both customers and workers, in front of the counter and in the stockroom. To name just a few examples: E-commerce saves costs by reducing the need for floor space and can improve the customer experience, by increasing convenience, choice, and retailer/customer interactions. Automated checkouts have allowed retailers to improve output per worker and save on labour costs. Radio frequency identification devices (RFID) allows retailers to more accurately track their inventory and better plan their supply chains. Retailers face an increasing challenge in managing consumer data, breaches of which could create financial burdens and can cost them customers. The Conference Board of Canada creates annual industrial profiles for clothing and department stores; furniture and appliance stores; grocery stores; and home improvement stores. As we head into the important back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons, join Michael Burt, Director, Industrial Economic Trends, for this check in on the Canadian retail industry.

Live Webinar | August 2017 | Michael Burt | The Conference Board of Canada

Canada’s Forestry Industry 2017–18: Recent Prosperity Falls Into Question

Following its strongest showing in three years, production growth in Canada’s wood products sector is expected to slump in 2017 due to the incoming U.S. trade restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber. Profitability is also expected to tumble, as import duties cut into shipments to the U.S. and act as a drag on industry growth. The sawmills segment, the largest contributor to the industry’s production, is forecast to see exports contract in 2017. Substantial employment losses are also anticipated in the sawmills segment, with a net loss of 2,200 workers forecast for the by 2018 because of the softwood tariffs. Non-lumber production—such as veneer, plywood, and other millwork—will help the industry to sustain modest production growth of 0.3 per cent in 2017. In an uncertain business environment for a key Canadian industry, join Robert Meyer-Robinson for a five-year outlook for the Canadian wood and paper product industries. Based on The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Industrial Outlook, Robert will discuss the major indicators for the industry, including: production, employment, prices, revenue, cost, profitability and profit margin.

Live Webinar | July 2017 | Robert Meyer-Robinson | The Conference Board of Canada

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Latest Economic Blogs

Nationalism Hasn’t Gone Away

June 22, 2017

Inadequate Savings—Not Trade Deals—Account for Much of U.S. Trade Deficit

April 28, 2017

Mexico: The Unluckiest Country of All

March 30, 2017

Industry Economics Team

Photo of Michael Burt

Michael Burt
Director, Industrial Economic Trends

Photo of Kristelle Audet

Kristelle Audet
Senior Economist

Photo of Todd Crawford

Todd A. Crawford
Principal Economist

Photo of Cory Renner

Cory Renner

Photo of Robert Meyer-Robinson

Robert Meyer-Robinson

Photo of Carlos Murillo

Carlos Murillo

Photo of  Richard Forbes

Richard Forbes