Nova Scotia's economy gets low grades on "How Canada Performs" report card

Nova Scotia ranks 23rd out of 26 among the provinces and international economies

OTTAWA, May 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Nova Scotia gets a "D" grade on the overall Economy report card in The Conference Board of Canada's first "How Canada Performs: Economy" report card to compare the 10 provinces and 16 advanced countries.

Released today, and building on previous "How Canada Performs" analyses, the Economy report card is the first of six to be produced over the next year on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. analysis to assess how provinces do compared to each other and leading international peers.

"Nova Scotia has struggled to generate strong economic growth over the past three years. The sluggish U.S. recovery has hurt export demand and labour markets have not expanded much," said Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. "Nova Scotia ranks ahead of only New Brunswick among the provinces, and its overall economic performance is comparable to struggling European economies such as Belgium, Finland, and France."

Nova Scotia's overall "D" grade puts it 23rd among 26 jurisdictions covered in the analysis.


  • Nova Scotia has struggled to generate strong economic growth over the past three years.
  • Nova Scotia's average annual labour productivity growth rate between 2008 and 2012 was 5th among 26 jurisdictions—a positive sign for long-term prosperity.

Nova Scotia does well on two indicators. Like most of the provinces, Nova Scotia's nflation rate in 2013 (1.2 per cent) earns an "A" grade. And Nova Scotia obtained a "B" grade on labour productivity growth in the five-year period between 2008 and 2012. Moreover, Nova Scotia's average annual labour productivity growth rate during this period trailed only four other jurisdictions: one province (Manitoba) and three countries (Ireland, the U.S., and Australia).

Nova Scotia's labour productivity levels remain low compared to its peers. Only Japan, New Brunswick, and P.E.I. have lower productivity levels. However, the relatively strong productivity growth, if sustainable, should boost future prosperity, since productivity is the single most important determinant of economic prosperity over the longer term.

Like most other provinces, Nova Scotia gets a "D-" grade on the outward greenfield FDI performance index (investment by Nova Scotia firms elsewhere), and does worse than the lowest-ranking peer country. Greenfield FDI is investment that expands an existing business or creates a new business, as opposed to a merger or acquisition.

Nova Scotia also scores "D" grades on income per capita and employment growth and "C" grades on unemployment and inward greenfield FDI (investment in Nova Scotia).

The Conference Board will hold an Atlantic Canada Business Outlook Webinar on June 24, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. ADT.

How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to peer countries in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society.

This is the first year that provincial and territorial rankings are included in the analysis.

The Education and Skills report card will be released in June.


SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada

For further information:

Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221


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