According to the Conference Board of Canada, real GDP in the Quebec City metropolitan region grew by +1.3% to $34.6 billion in the third quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015. With all economic sectors contributing, the region was able to maintain its pace of growth. The robust regional economy since the beginning of 2016 paved the way for the strong showing in the first nine months, with cumulative growth of 1.4%.
The third-quarter results are encouraging. The +1.1% increase posted by the construction industry indicates that the overall market remains active thanks to the preparation and completion of major projects. Although it may appear modest, the manufacturing sector's +0.4% increase reflects its ongoing commitment to investment in new markets amid lingering uncertainties (volatile Canadian dollar, US politics, weak emerging economies, etc.). The services sector continues to expand (+0.7%), due in large part to consumer services.
Based on its strong performance in 2016, the Quebec City region is set to record its 25th consecutive year of real GDP growth. Although the fourth-quarter data will not be available until March 2017, the Conference Board is forecasting cumulative growth of +1.6% for 2016. No other major metropolitan region in Canada has had such a lengthy period of expansion. In addition, regional growth has been equal to or greater than the provincial and national averages, a situation that could continue until 2018. The robust economy is certainly a favourable factor when it comes to maintaining the confidence of consumers, investors and the business community.