Project Link

Piecing together recent Canadian economic history

 

 

Monthly data     

1.     Coincident indicators     Download (Excel – Last updated June 1, 2018)

Variable

Start date

Cansim vector

GDP

January 1961

v65201210

Employment (LFS)

January 1946

v2062811

Unemployment rate

January 1946

v2062815

Employment (SEPH)

January 1946

v79310773

Weekly earnings (SEPH)

January 1946

v54026327

Consumer Price Index

January 1946

v41690914

Manufacturing sales

January 1961

v123263908

Exports

January 1968

v54057830

Imports

January 1968

v54057816

Retail trade

January 1972

v115117063

 

Workfile available here. Note that Statistics Canada has started new series for manufacturing and retail trade since the previous update. This update links the old data to the new series.

 

2.     Labour Force Survey, start date January 1953    Download (Excel – Last updated June 1, 2018)

Cansim vectors:

15 and over

25 to 54 years

Both sexes

Men

Women

Both sexes

Men

Women

Labour Force

v2062810

v2062819

v2062828

v2062945

v2062954

v2062963

Employment

v2062811

v2062820

v2062829

v2062946

v2062955

v2062964

Employment rates

v2062817

v2062826

v2062835

v2062952

v2062961

v2062970

Unemployment rates

v2062815

v2062824

v2062833

v2062950

v2062959

v2062968

Participation rates

v2062816

v2062825

v2062834

v2062951

v2062960

v2062969

 

Historical sources:

·        Historical Labour Force Statistics – Statistics Canada Catalogue 71-201 (1974)

·        Historical Labour Force Statistics – Statistics Canada Catalogue 71-201 (1990)

Working files (Excel – Last updated July 10, 2017):

·        Labour Force

·        Employment

·        Employment rates

·        Unemployment rates

·        Participation rates

 

Quarterly data

1.     Economic Accounts – Expenditures           Real data  Nominal data  (Excel – Last updated June 1, 2018)

Variable

Start date

GDP

1947Q1

Consumption expenditures

1947Q1

Investment expenditures

1947Q1

Government expenditures

1947Q1

Exports

1947Q1

Imports

1947Q1

 

Workfile available here.

 

2.     Economic Accounts – Incomes         Download (Excel – Last updated June 1, 2017)

Variable

Start date

Cansim vector

Gross National Income

1947Q1

v62468852

Real Gross Domestic Income

1947Q1

Net National Income

1947Q1

v62468848

Compensation of employees

1947Q1

v62295549

Disposable income

1947Q1

V62306171

 

Workfile available here. For details about the construction and the interpretation of Gross Domestic Income, see here.

 

3.     Balance of Payments – Current Account             Download (Excel – Last updated June 1, 2018)

Variable

Start date

Cansim vectors

Total: Receipts, Payments, Balance

1946Q1

v61915244, v61915273, v61915304

Goods and services: Receipts, Payments, Balance

1946Q1

v61915245, v61915274, v61915305

Investment income: Receipts, Payments, Balance

1946Q1

v61915255, v61915283, v61915315

 

          Workfile available here.

(More estimates will be added eventually)

 

Why this site exists

As anyone who works with Canadian economic time series data is aware, Statistics Canada has a frustrating habit of starting new time series with new definitions and/or new methodologies and not updating historical data. As a result, recent Canadian economic history consists largely of discontinued fragments in the “Terminated Series” sections of Statistics Canada’s Cansim data base. This is an effort to piece some of those fragments together to produce rough-and-ready, consistent time series for some important economic variables.

 

Data sources

All source data were originally published by Statistics Canada. So far, I have used data taken from Cansim, the Canadian Statistical Review, Historical Labour Force Statistics, the Bank of Canada Review, and the Bank of Canada’s Statistical Summary.

 

Methodology

The basic technique is to link two series based on their relative values on the earliest observation in which they overlap. Suppose A is the old series and B is the new series:

A1

A2

A3

A4

A5

A6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B4

B5

B6

B7

B8

B9

B10

 

These would be linked at the 4th observation:

A1

A2

A3

A4

A5

A6

 

 

 

 

A1*(B4/A4)

A2*(B4/A4)

A3*(B4/A4)

B4

B5

B6

B7

B8

B9

B10

 

The assumption being made here is that the only difference between A and B is one of scale: the period-to-period growth rates were not affected by the transition from series A to series B. This assumption is never strictly true, so no great claims about the precision of these estimates are made here. But it is to be hoped that they are better than nothing.

 

Data presentation

All data are scaled to be consistent with the most recent data being updated by Statistics Canada. While I will try to keep these data updated as often as I can, you should be able to use the Cansim vector number – for example, v65201201 is the current estimate for monthly GDP – to do updates on your own.

·        Note: the most recent observations posted here are often subject to revision. If you’re updating these series using the most recent Cansim data, download at least 5 years’ worth of historical data to make sure you’ve captured all of the latest revisions.

 

Some notes on seasonal adjustment

·        All data are seasonally adjusted, either by me or by Statistics Canada.

·        Statistics Canada’s adjusted CPI series starts in 1992, but the unadjusted series goes back much further. I reverse-engineered a two-sided X24 filter that transformed the unadjusted data into something that closely fits the adjusted series, and this filter was used to adjust CPI data before 1992.

·        Earnings data before 1983 are not adjusted by Statistics Canada. I used monthly dummies to adjust for seasonality.

 

Comments / Suggestions / Requests

This is an ongoing project. Advice and constructive criticism are welcome: stephen@ecn.ulaval.ca