Corporate Canada's cash hoard exceeds national debt

This is quite a milestone.

The amount of cash held by private non-financial corporations in Canada stood at $626 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from $591 billion in the third quarter, according to Statistics Canada.

The big jump means corporate Canada's accumulated stock of cash now exceeds the federal government's accumulated deficit, Erin Weir, an economist with the United Steelworkers union, points out. (The national debt stood at $612 billion at the end of 2013.)

Weir puts this "hoard of dead money" in context.

"The corporate sector's aggressive accumulation of cash helps to explain the lack of investment and employment growth. It also strengthens the case for reversing corporate tax cuts to fund needed investments in public services and infrastructure. If corporate Canada will not invest its dead money, the government should resuscitate some of it," Weir explains.

Photo: quinnanya. Used under a Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 licence.

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