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Canada Picks ­p Pace in Computer, Tech Spending

Canadian companies have been picking up their spending on computers, software and other technology, but they still lag the U.S., according to an annual study. Businesses spending on information and communication and technology (ICT) rose by 6.2 percent in 2008, according to research by the Center for the Study of Living Standards. That outpaced the 4.4 percent rate of growth in the U.S.

On average, Canadian firms boosted their spending 16.8 percent for communications equipment and 11.3 percent for software. Investment in computers fell by 10 percent, though part of the decline can be attributed to a stronger Canadian currency and falling prices, the study said. But the average U.S. worker is still much better equipped than the average Canadian when it comes to technology, the study found.

"Canada has long had a significant ICT investment gap with the United States and this gap has been identified as a key factor behind Canada's lower level of labor productivity relative to the United States," the report noted. Canada's rate of technology investment per worker in 2008 was about two-thirds, or 62.1 percent, of that of the U.S.

From Toronto Star
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