Economic development in Canada has followed a steady trajectory. Beginning in 2009 and continuing in the past five years, key economic indicators have begun to point upward. New construction and housing starts, manufacture, and infrastructure investment are on the rise throughout Canada, providing increased projections in employment and overall GNP.
Private-public sector initiatives have spurred economic growth in smaller communities. The Building Canada Plan, for example, targets monies to municipalities of fewer than 100,000 people. These funds can be used for infrastructure development including roads, sewers and waste management facilities, and are also available for capital construction projects. The idea is to stimulate the economy to provide more jobs and resources for residents of these smaller communities.
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Because trade with Canada is intrinsically linked to global markets outside of Canada, economic development in Canada has endured hits and stalls similar to economies throughout the world. While free trade agreements with the US and Mexico have been implemented, those economies have suffered their own setbacks. In the US, the economic downturn was blamed initially on a crippled housing market. Housing prices peaked in 2005 then took a precipitous spiral downward. With declining housing values, homeowners lost equity and stopped purchasing big-ticket items. A decline in purchasing power in the U.S. hurt economies that export to the U.S., including Canada, Mexico and parts of Asia.