Mike Mandel offers four candidates for the 'Economic Statistic of the Decade' over here, using these criteria:
First, we want to reward the economic statistic that best reflects the decade (both the good and the bad). Second, we want to recognize the economic statistic that turned in a surprising performance–that is, back in 2000, if someone had shown you a graph of the statistic over the next ten years, you would have said “no way”. Third, we want to reward economic statistics that are reliable and accurate representations of the actual economy.
If we restrict attention to the Canadian economy, there's really only one data series that satisfies these criteria. As I've explained repeatedly at and great length (, , , ), the story of the Canadian economy in the 2000's is the rapid increase, crash and partial recovery of commodity prices. Here is a graph of the Bank of Canada's weekly commodity price series, converted to Canadian dollars and scaled so that January 2000=100:
As documented elsewhere, the effects of the run-up in commodity prices include
- An increase in our terms of trade, which accounted for half the increase in GDI
- An accelerated shift of productive resources out of the manufacturing sector