Canada expected to move up in economic ranking as other countries slip



    OTTAWA, Aug. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada is expected to move up in the
ranking of international economic performance in 2009 and 2010 - in part
because other countries have been harder hit by the global recession
-according to the Conference Board's How Canada Performs - Economy Forecast
2010.
    After obtaining a low "B" grade and an 11th place ranking out of 17
comparator countries in 2008, Canada is expected to move up to 5th spot in
2010-narrowly missing an "A" grade. This is the first time that the Conference
Board has used its How Canada Performs framework to forecast future report
card performance.
    "Canada is expected to weather the global recession better than most of
its peers, which is a credit to its stable financial sector and a relatively
healthier economic position upon entering the downturn," said Glen Hodgson,
Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. "But achieving a higher rank
because other countries are falling farther is not the basis for sustainable
prosperity. Some of Canada's fundamentals, such as labour productivity, remain
weaker than those of the global leaders."
    According to the report card, which is based on the recent OECD Economic
Outlook, Canada's relative ranking is expected to improve on five indicators:

    
    -   GDP growth
    -   unemployment rate
    -   employment growth
    -   inward FDI performance index
    -   outward FDI performance index
    

    Despite substantial movement among the 17 countries, the top and bottom
positions are not expected to change between 2008 and 2010. Norway is expected
to retain first place in the Economy ranking in both 2009 and 2010. Norway's
economy has been more resilient than most, and it is partly protected from
current economic conditions by its large petroleum sector.
    At the bottom of the rankings, Ireland is forecast to remain in 17th
place on overall economic performance in 2009 and 2010. With its economy
reeling from the global economic crisis and a meltdown in its domestic
property market and construction sector, Ireland fell from first place in 2007
to last place in 2008. Irish income per capita, which improved from 17th place
in 1996 to 3rd place a decade later, is forecast to fall to 7th place in 2010.
    In addition to Canada, Belgium and the United States are forecast to move
up over the next two years. After being hard-hit in both 2008 and 2009, the
U.S. is forecast to move from 8th position in 2008 to 3rd position in 2010.
The U.S. is the only comparator country that is not expected to have
additional decline in employment next year.
    The United Kingdom is among the countries expected to fall sharply in
overall economic performance between 2008 and 2010. The financial crisis has
had a severe effect on U.K. credit markets and housing prices, leading to a
contraction in consumer spending and business investment. The Netherlands and
Switzerland are also expected to fall sharply in the ranking.

    How Canada Performs is the Conference Board's annual benchmarking
analysis, which the Board has conducted since 1996. The Conference Board
assesses Canada's performance against leading countries in the domains of
Economy, Health, Society, Innovation, Environment, and Education and Skills.




For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: (613)
526-3090 ext. 448, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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