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Annual real GDP grows by 1.4% in the first half of 2013

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Highlights

  • According to the Conference Board of Canada, real GDP in the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) grew at an annual rate of 1.4% in the first half of 2013, reaching a total of $32.95 billion, up from $32.49 billion in the first six months of 2012.
  • Regional economic growth was primarily driven by construction (+5.4%) and the services sector (+2.3%).
  • Manufacturing (-8.6%) and the primary sector (-9.4%) both continued their downward trends.

Commentary

The economy in the Quebec City metropolitan region continues to grow. In the first half of 2013, real GDP in the region stood at $32.95 billion, an annual increase of 1.4%. Job creation (+2.5%) and a rise in non-residential investment (+18%) contributed to this strong showing. Although regions in Western Canada were the top performers in the first six months of the year, Quebec City continues to rank among the top regions in Eastern Canada.

Major projects continue to benefit Quebec City’s economy in 2013, with the construction sector recording annual growth of 5.4% in the first six months of the year. That sector’s dynamic performance is underscored by new office space, rebuilt roads and the construction of a multi-purpose amphitheatre. Meanwhile, the services sector (+2.3%) was bolstered by an uptick in production services (+4.1%) and the public sector (+1.8%), offsetting a drop-off in consumer services (-2.5%). Manufacturing, however, is having difficulty reversing its current downtrend, although the labour market is showing some signs of improvement.

The Quebec City region turned in a strong performance in the first six months of 2013, and this is expected to continue in the second half of the year. Nonetheless, the summertime lull in the labour market and constraints surrounding the persistently fragile state of foreign trade suggest that regional growth will remain under the 2% mark in 2013.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Quebec International

 
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LouisGagnonSenior Economist

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