Economic report and outlooks -
Québec City CMA, 2016-2017
Over the past several years, the Québec City CMA has positioned itself very positively. It is currently one of the fastest-growing regions in Canada. In particular, it has bolstered the expansion of cutting-edge sectors, supported the integration of research and innovation into its companies, encouraged its manufacturing industry to focus on value-added goods and stimulated private real estate investments.
These actions have had a positive impact on economic indicators and allowed the region to stay strong in the face of various structural and cyclical constraints of the past several years.
With a real GDP of $34.6 billion in 2016—representing a 1.6% growth from 2015—Québec City has recorded a 25th consecutive year of growth. This is the longest period of growth ever observed among the major CMAs in Canada. Québec City’s enviable status has contributed to the region’s economic growth and appeal on a national and international scale.
The 2016 economic report highlights the excellent performance of Québec City’s various economic indicators. The growth of the real GDP has led to increased productivity and quality of life for the area’s inhabitants. As for employment, the CMA has the lowest annual unemployment rate in Canada, at 4.6%. It has also started many residential and non-residential projects, and is paving the way for several major projects in the future. Québec City’s economic growth is matched by its demographic growth, showing a population increase of nearly 1% per year.
That said, last year’s results highlighted some of the issues that the area is facing. Efforts must be made to tackle these issues so that our economy can continue to grow.
Workforce availability is one of our primary concerns. According to our projections, Québec City will add nearly 20,000 new jobs by 2021, exceeding the growth experienced between 2011 and 2016 (+13,300 jobs). The need for workers will increase due to the expansion and establishment of foreign companies. Additionally, more and more positions will need to be filled, especially as people retire. With that in mind, it will be important to monitor the development of the labour force, since it is growing slower than the job market, increasing the severity of labour shortages.
Investment development will also draw attention to the region. More than 300 major residential and non-residential projects are planned or underway, generating more than $10 billion over the next 10 years. These projects will support capital expenditures.
However, expenditures in R&D, innovation, equipment, marketing and training will also be critical in terms of encouraging competition between companies and growing said companies’ market share.
Finally, external market conditions are expected to continue to evolve and change over time. Businesses need to take steps to adjust to the fluctuating value of the Canadian dollar, new American business policies, the implementation of CETA and the increasing presence of developing countries.
In sum, the efforts made over the past few years will serve as an important lever for growing Québec City’s future economic influence. Currently, the region boasts a strong, diversified and innovative economy. Its workforce is highly educated, and the area is home to cutting-edge businesses and flourishing research centres. These are all key factors for the success of our activity sectors and development of our market niches. By aiming to maintain and grow this solid base, the Québec City CMA will be able to support further economic growth. According to our projections, the real GDP will grow by nearly 2% per year between 2016 and 2021. This is in line with the expected growth rates for other Canadian CMAs.
List of major current or announced private non-residential
investment projects in the Québec City CMA
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List of major private sector employers
by activity sector in the Québec City CMA
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in PDF format