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Essay: Assessing Business Opportunities in USA Post-Pandemic Economy


You will continue working with the country or province you have been researching for your micro assignment posts.  You will utilize the same data (with any corrections suggested during the course) to create a country portfolio.  It will be helpful to view the portfolio from the point of view of a Canadian firm wishing to do business in your selected country.  Given the unique circumstances of the time in which we are living (global pandemic,) your primary task will be to assess the data to determine whether the macroeconomic climate in your selected country is favourable for a foreign firm to operate, either as an importer or exporter or by building or operating a factory in the country you are researching.

You will provide and assess each of the following.  You will share the raw data in an appendix and provide any key numbers that inform your assessment of opportunities in the body of the paper that you will write to provide your assessment.

1. GDP, preferably in real form, if available, for the months or quarters dating back to March 2020.  If unavailable, provide the most recent 3-4 quarters.  Assess where each quarter lies in the business cycle.

2. The rate of inflation, for the months or quarters dating back to March 2020.  Assess whether the country was experiencing inflation or deflation over the course of the months or quarters. Combined with the GDP data, assess if the state of the economy is problematic for a firm wishing to export or operate in your selected country, or if the state of the economy provides opportunities and why.

3. The unemployment rate, for the months or quarters dating back to March 2020.  Discuss whether particular demographic groups (e.g., age or gender) provide an opportunity to purchase your good, work for your firm within your selected country, or otherwise support your firm’s success.  If there are no such opportunities, explain why you believe that to be the case.

4. Provide trade data for imports, exports and the trade balance between Canada and your selected country over the last five years.  Observe the components of merchandise trade through that time to determine in which sectors opportunities might exist.

5. Provide monthly or quarterly interest rates for 2020 in your selected country if available, and using the inflation rate for the same time frame, calculate the real rate of interest firms or consumers would pay during the most recent time frame available.  Select prime rate, if available, or interest rates to

households, but not interest on government debt.  Comment regarding whether the pattern of interest rates indicates an expansionary or contractionary monetary policy.

6. Describe the fiscal supports the central government has made available to firms, if any, to sustain them during the pandemic.  Describe the fiscal supports to individuals, and assess if those supports provide an opportunity for your firm and how, or why not.

7. Provide the debt-to-GDP ratio for the government of your selected country for the most recent time period and two prior periods.  Assess if movement in the debt-to-GDP ratio during the pandemic might be of sufficient concern to indicate caution in doing business with your selected country.

Write a 4-5 page paper in Word (not counting title page and appendix) following APA writing standards, in which you share your comments on the items described above, sharing only key data in the body of the paper, with all of the data requested above shared in tabular format in an appendix to the paper.  (You will have assembled the data through the micro assignments and reviewed it for accuracy to obtain the data for the appendix.)

Submit the assignment as a single Word file in the Assignments folder in D2L using the naming format (last name)_(first name).docx for the file you upload.  

A note about academic honesty: Copying part or all of your analysis from another source without will result in a grade of 0 on the assignment and possible further consequences determined by the department chair or dean, including a grade of F.  Note that even if you properly cite the sources of the material you copy into your assignment, you may still earn a grade of 0, as the intent of this assignment is to showcase your learning of the content.  The appendix data will of course be copied from the source data of the statistical agencies providing it, so is allowed, but should be properly cited. 

Note that you will most likely receive a higher grade for imperfect work that is genuinely your own rather than perfect work that you did not create.

The assignment counts as 25% of your final grade.  It will be marked as follows:

  • Analysis and insights in the body of the paper reflect an understanding of the course content: 17.5 marks
  • Data is properly sourced and cited, required calculations are performed correctly, any anomolies in the data are described 3.5 marks
  • Writing is well edited for grammar, punctuation, spelling, logical flow and citation, according to APA standards. 4 marks

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