The Fraser Institute- The Accumulated Debt and Economic Performance of Industrialized Countries during COVID
From 2019 to 2021, Canada had the second-highest increase in its gross debt-to-GDP ratio out of 33 countries covered by the IMF, behind only Japan.
Despite leading our peers—save for Japan—in the accumulation of debt, Canada did not out-perform our peer group in economic growth during the pandemic. Canada had the 11th lowest real GDP growth (5.2%) in 2020 and the 12th lowest real GDP growth (4.6%) in 2021.
It is telling that the United States, which also had a marked increase in its gross debt relative to the size of the economy, markedly out-performed Canada on both measures in 2020 and 2021. Moreover, Ireland, which reduced its gross debt-to-GDP ratio, also outperformed Canada on both measures and, in fact, led the group of 33 industrialized countries in the growth of real GDP in 2020 and 2021.