According to a recent Conference Board of Canada update, the Québec City metropolitan region recorded real GDP of $34.4 billion in the first six months of 2016, up 1.6% from the first half of 2015. This was the top growth rate in the province of Québec and one of the highest in Canada. The region outpaced Québec as a whole and Canada as a whole during the same period (+1.3%). As the economy continues to expand in Québec City, a number of major Canadian CMAs are still having trouble shaking off the doldrums.
Economic growth in the region was seen in all economic sectors. Manufacturing and construction fared well in the first half of the year, posting increases of 4.0% and 1.3% respectively. The production of high value-added goods and the competitiveness of the Canadian dollar appear to be favouring manufacturing. The construction industry continues to reap the benefits of various initiatives begun last year, but is also laying the groundwork for a number of new projects. Meanwhile, the services sector posted an increase of 0.9%. Managing this expansion is influencing the sector's growth rate, which remains positive.
The results for the first six months of 2016 support our forecasts, according to which real GDP is expected to grow by around 2% in the Québec City CMA in 2016. As in 2015, the region is banking on growth in all economic sectors. In addition, the resurgence of the labour market in recent months, combined with the upcoming launch of major new projects and higher household income, will continue to drive Québec City's economic expansion in the second half of the year.