Department of Finance Survey of Private Sector Economic Forecasters

Survey Data

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SURVEY OF PRIVATE SECTOR FORECASTERS

The Government reports regularly on Canada’s economic and fiscal situation and outlook.

  • The federal budget, normally tabled in February or March provides the Government’s economic and fiscal outlook.
  • In the fall, the Government releases a five-year economic and fiscal projection to provide the context for budget planning.
  • The Fiscal Monitor provides monthly updates of fiscal developments.
  • In early fall, the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada and the Public Accounts of Canada report final results for the fiscal year ending March 31.

The Department of Finance regularly surveys about 15 private sector forecasters for their views on the main economic variables, such as gross domestic product, the unemployment rate and interest rates. The average of private sector forecasts forms the basis for the economic assumptions used for fiscal planning purposes in the budget and the fall update.

The average of private sector economic forecasts has been used as the basis for fiscal planning since Budget 1994. This practice introduces an element of independence into the fiscal forecast. This framework for budgeting is based on recommendations by independent organizations:

This approach has been supported by the IMF (How Do Canadian Budget Forecasts Compare with Those of Other Industrial Countries?, IMF Working Paper, March 2005).