Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • Rental Wage in Canada July 18, 2019
    Our new report maps rental affordability in neighbourhoods across Canada by calculating the “rental wage,” which is the hourly wage needed to afford an average apartment without spending more than 30% of one’s earnings.  Across all of Canada, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $22.40/h, or $20.20/h for an average one […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada July 9, 2019
    CCPA senior economist David Macdonald co-authored a new report, Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada­—released by Upstream Institute in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)—tracks child poverty rates using Census 2006, the 2011 National Household Survey and Census 2016. The report is available for […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Fossil-Power Top 50 launched July 3, 2019
    What do Suncor, Encana, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Fraser Institute and 46 other companies and organizations have in common? They are among the entities that make up the most influential fossil fuel industry players in Canada. Today, the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP) is drawing attention to these powerful corporations and organizations with the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Tickets available for Errol Black Chair Fundraising Brunch 2019 June 26, 2019
    You are invited to CCPA-MB’s annual fundraising brunch in support of the Errol Black Chair in Labour Issues.  Please join us to honour: Honoured Guest: John Loxley is Professor of Economics at the University of Manitoba and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Guest Speaker:  Jim Stanford is Economist and Director of the Centre […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The fight against ISDS in Romania June 24, 2019
    CCPA is proud to co-sponsor this terrific video from our colleagues at Corporate Europe Observatory. It chronicles grassroots resistance to efforts by Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources to build Europe’s largest open-pit gold mine in a culturally rich and environmentally sensitive region of Romania. After this unimaginably destructive project was refused by the Romanian public and courts, the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers


Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Public Investment to the Rescue

The main message in Statistics Canada’s release of 2009 investment intentions is that modestly higher public investment will partly offset sharply lower private investment.

The glass-half-full perspective is that things would look far worse without the increase in public investment. The glass-half-empty perspective is that this increase will not be nearly enough to fully offset the loss of private investment.

Statistics Canada’s release emphasizes non-residential construction and machinery and equipment, presumably because these types of investment contribute most strongly to productivity. However, residential construction also contributes to aggregate demand.

Tables updated along with today’s release reveal that residential construction intentions are also down, but not as steeply. Figures including residential construction suggest a 5.4% drop in total investment, which is slightly less bad than the 6.6% drop highlighted in today’s release.

Capital Investment in Canada ($ billions)


















How much has public investment cushioned the blow from the private sector? Without the 2008-2009 boost in public investment, total investment would have been $320.6 billion in 2009, a decline of 7.3% (rather than 5.4%) from the 2008 level.

How much public investment would have been needed to completely close the gap? If public investment had increased by $25.4 billion, total investment would be the same in 2009 as in 2008.

This would have required a 35% rise in public investment as opposed to the expected 9.5% rise. To put both percentages in context, public investment actually rose 21% from 2007 to 2008, accounting for most of the investment increase between those years. If governments could pull off a 21% increase then, they should be able to do better than 9.5% amid the current economic crisis.


Comment from Robert McClelland
Time: February 26, 2009, 11:15 am

Did you see today’s quarterly financial statistics for enterprises? Last year was another banner year for corporate profits $283 billion) yet private sector capital investment for this year are set to decline by $25 billion.

Comment from Erin Weir
Time: February 27, 2009, 6:54 am

Private investment is driven by prospective future profits, rather than by previous record profits.

Write a comment

Related articles