The Branch analyzes Canada's economic and fiscal situation and outlook. It also provides the Minister with analytical support on a wide range of economic and fiscal issues.
The Branch has three divisions.
The Fiscal Policy Division has lead responsibility for providing analysis and advice on the government's fiscal position. This includes forecasting and analyzing federal revenues, providing advice to the Minister on overall federal spending priorities and ensuring the government meets its budgetary and debt-ratio objectives. The Division also monitors and analyzes the fiscal positions of provincial governments and other advanced countries, and prepares the Department's monthly publication The Fiscal Monitor.
Because of its responsibilities, the Division plays a key role in coordinating and preparing the annual federal budget. In addition, it reviews the form and content of the Public Accounts of Canada and other statements for which the Minister has responsibility under the Financial Administration Act. The Division also undertakes applied research on fiscal policy issues.
This Division is the largest policy research group in the Department and one of the largest in the federal government. The Division has a broad mandate to conduct in-depth policy-relevant economic research to provide strategic advice to the Minister on issues that are of medium- and long-term significance. In so doing, it works closely with other branches to provide rigorous analytical support in a wide variety of policy areas.
The Division conducts policy research on a number of issues, including economic growth, sources of productivity growth, population aging, public finance, trade, environmental analysis and education. Examples of the Division's research on these issues can be found in the Department's working paper series.
The Division also plays a key role in representing Canada’s economic interests in OECD economic meetings and facilitates the preparation of Canada’s Economic Survey conducted by the OECD.
This division tracks, evaluates and forecasts Canada's economic performance. It has the lead role in preparing the economic chapter of the budget and the updates.
The Division provides a continuous assessment of current economic conditions for Canada, and for the provinces and territories. It conducts analysis and research on the economic situation and outlook. It also plays a key role in facilitating the economic surveillance of Canada carried out by the International Monetary Fund.
The Division conducts the Department's survey of private-sector forecasters and maintains close contacts with private-sector forecasters and provincial governments. It is also responsible for the Department's macro-economic forecasting models of the Canadian economy. It also prepares the quarterly economic and fiscal forecast of the U.S. and other major economies, and tracks U.S. economic developments.