Need to improve Canadian productivity has reached emergency level: BoC official

A senior Bank of Canada official says the need to improve productivity has reached an emergency level as the economy faces a future where inflation may be more of a threat than in the past few decades.

In a speech, senior deputy governor Carolyn Rogers says an economy with low productivity can only grow so quickly before inflation sets in.

But, she says, an economy with strong productivity can have faster growth, more jobs and higher wages with less risk of inflation.

Rogers says when you compare Canada’s recent productivity record with that of other countries, what sticks out is how much the country lags on investment in machinery, equipment and intellectual property.

She also says Canada needs to focus on making sure the training and education we provide teach the skills we need, while a more competitive business environment would also help drive greater innovation and efficiency.

The speech comes ahead of the Bank of Canada’s next interest rate decision and monetary policy report set for April 10.