Health of the Economy Assignment

27 04 2011

Health of the Canadian Economy Assignment

Working as a class, your job is to determine the health of the Canadian economy based on tradition economic indicators (we will consider other measures later in the course).

Each group will be assigned an indicator to research, present and assess.  Once the presentations are finished, you will discuss and determine, as a class, the overall health of the Canadian economy and complete a summary Prezi.

More details after the jump…

Economic indicators can be:

–         Procyclic — indicators move in the same direction as the general economy; they increase when the economy is doing well; decrease when it is doing badly.

–         Countercyclic  — indicators move in the opposite direction to the general economy.

–         Acyclic  — indicators with little or no correlation to the business cycle: they may rise or fall when the general economy is doing well, and may rise or fall when it is not doing well


  1. Google document summary notes
  2. Google spreadsheet data and graphs
  3. Presentation to class
  4. Content added to Prezi

Google Document

–         Complete the google document for your indicator by filling in the information requested.

–         These files will be used to create your handouts for this part of the unit. The notes should be in point form, concise and clear.

Quality not Quantity!

–         I will make comments on your google documents fromOrlandoas time permits.

–         Content:

–         A brief summary of what your indicator measures

–         How is your indicator calculated?

–         Why does your indicator increase/decrease? (consider multiple reasons)

–         What does it mean when your indicator increases/decreases? (What does this tell you about the economy?)

–         Is your indicator cyclical, counter-cyclical or acyclic?

–         Why is your indicator a good measure of the health of the Canadian economy?

–         Why is your indicator a poor measure of the health of the Canadian economy?

–         A brief summary of the 10-year trend and the 12-month trend

–         Assessment – what does the current value and trend of the indicator say about the economy?

For the three indicators covered in class, you should cover additional material.


–         Consider the trends in the components of C, I, G, X, N.

–         Consider GDP per capita, real vs. nominal GDP.

–         How is real GDP calculated inCanada

CPI and Inflation

–         What is CPI composed of inCanada?

–         Which elements are increasing which are decreasing?

–         What is the trend in Total CPI vs Core CPI?

–         Are there regional differences?


–         Who is unemployed inCanada? Are there differences in age/education/region?

–         What types of jobs are being lost/created (part-time/full-time, which industries)?

–         What is the duration of unemployment?

–         Are we seeing cyclical and/or structural unemployment?

Google Spreadsheet

–         Complete the google spreadsheet and graphs for your indicator.

–         At minimum you need two graphs:

  • One that shows the yearly trend for the past 10 years.
  • One that shows the trend, by month or quarter, for the past 12 months. Use the most recent data that you can find.

–         For some indicators, you might want more than one graph or more than one data set on your graph.


–         A brief presentation of your data to the class, not all group members need to present.

–         You do not need to prepare a separate presentation, a summary of your notes and the presentation of your graphs is sufficient.


–         Summarize just the key points of your analysis and use the arrows to make a final determination of the health of the Canadian economy based on your indicator.

Class Discussion

–         Discuss the indicators in class after the presentations and come to a class conclusion of the health of the Canadian economy.

–         Provide three justifications for your diagnosis.

Mark Determination (rubric to follow)

–         Coverage of necessary material in notes

–         Conciseness, clarity of notes

–         Usefulness and clarity of graphs

–         Analysis of indicator

–         Analysis of health of economy (class mark)


  • GDP
  • CPI
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Value of the Dollar
  • Balance of Payments/Current Account
  • Productivity






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