Canada Business Measure Favored by Poloz Shows More Companies

Canada is making progress in rebuilding economic capacity following the last recession, according to a measure of business population favored by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.

There were 2.69 million “active locations” in Canada in December, Statistics Canada reported today from Ottawa according to its Business Register database, compared with a June tally of 2.62 million and 2.48 million in December 2012.

Poloz has said in interviews and press conferences that he tracks figures on the number of companies and exporters. The Bank of Canada’s current forecast calls for a rotation of demand from indebted consumers to exports and business investment, which Poloz says depends on companies having the confidence to expand as global demand grows.

“The population of companies has been pretty static for the last five years,” Poloz said in a Dec. 17 interview. While it “looks like it’s starting to pick up, we’ll see if those data pan out,” he said.

Poloz’s approach supplements the central bank’s traditional method of comparing economic output to an estimate of the maximum that could be produced before inflation starts accelerating. The central bank said Jan. 22 the economy is two years away from reaching full output.

Statistics Canada says that its business registry data should not be considered a “time series,” meaning the results shouldn’t be directly compared between reports.

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