By Staff | June 30, 2008 | Last updated on June 30, 2008
3 min read
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(June 30, 2008) For most Canucks, Canada Day is a time to celebrate this country — not so for the Conference Board of Canada. On Monday, the Ottawa-based research organization said that Canada’s socio-economic performance is sliding.

“Canada is losing ground to other countries that are better at exploiting their own advantages,” says Anne Golden, president and CEO of the Conference Board. “We appear to be riding high due to global demand for our resources, but this is not a sustainable course for our country.”

Golden points out that the Conference Board has been voicing its concerns on this issue for 12 years, but thanks to a lack of innovation, nothing has changed.

In its annual report titled How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada, the Conference Board found that Canada ranks 11th out of 17 countries — “a significant decline from its third-place position in the 1970s,” says the organization.

The country ranks 15th in productivity levels, which the Board says is the “strongest drag on the performance of the economy.”

The Conference Board says Canada can raise its productivity levels through innovation, but we rank 13th in that area. “Canada has many of the elements needed for innovation, but research is not successfully commercialized and used as a source of advantage for companies seeking global market share,” says the report.

When it comes to the environment, the country ranks 15th, with poor performance in greenhouse gas emissions, smog and waste generation. In the area of health, the country lands in 9th, while under the society banner Canada comes in 10th.

One area where Canada shines is in education and skills, ranking behind only Finland to nab the second spot.

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Canada’s GDP increases in April

(June 30, 2008) Despite all the negative economic news lately, Canada’s real gross domestic product was up in April — after two months of declines — increasing 0.4%.

According to Statistics Canada, some of the reason for the increase was due to increases in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and declines in construction and oil and gas exploration and extraction.

The first quarter of this year also saw the manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade sectors affected by temporary bumps in the motor vehicle industry.

Manufacturing specifically rose 1.9% in April, after seeing declines in February and March, while motor vehicle production increased by 7%. Manufacturing of petroleum and coal products also increased, but that’s due to a return to normal production levels as refinery repairs that started in February were completed.

The energy sector saw a drop in output of 1.1% in April. Oil and gas extraction fell 1.7%, though exports of crude petroleum increased, after sitting at the same level for the last 12 months.

Decreases were also seen in the construction sector, which dropped 0.7%. Residential and non-residential building construction slowed, while construction of new single residences fell for the fifth straight month. However, construction of apartments rose for the third consecutive month.

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GGOF reopens dividend fund

(June 30, 2008) If your client has been dying to get into Guardian Group of Funds’ Monthly Dividend Fund, now’s her chance. GGOF is set to reopen the fund to new investors on July 4.

GGOF is also changing the frequency of distributions for the Dividend Growth Fund from quarterly to annually. The company says quarterly distributions are costly, so they’ve decided to distribute income and capital gains once a year.

The change allows the company to improve cash flow management within the fund.

(06/30/08) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.