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Real GDP in the Quebec City region hit a record high of $32.5 billion in 2012HighlightsCommentary

The Quebec City metropolitan region generated $32.5 billion in real GDP in 2012, a new record. However, the annual increase was only 0.9%, down from 2% in 2011, with the downturn in the labour market in the second half of 2012 and the persistent decline in manufacturing accounting for this more modest showing. Still, the Quebec City CMA recorded average annual growth of 1.9% between 2007 and 2012, one of the highest rates in Canada. Of the country’s eight principal CMAs, only Edmonton (3.4%) and Calgary (2.0%) outpaced Quebec City.


  • According to the Conference Board of Canada, real GDP in the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) hit a record high of $32.5 billion in 2012, an annual increase of 0.9%.
  • The construction industry (+3.2%) and the services sector (+1.7%) both drove regional growth.
  • Manufacturing (-4.1%) and the primary sector (-14.6%) both continued to decline.
  • The Quebec City region boasted average annualized growth of 1.9% over the past five years, one of the highest rates in Canada.


Quebec City’s economic growth in 2012 was driven by the construction industry
(+3.2%), which was in turn spurred on by the residential market (+6,416 housing starts), office projects (+1.4 million sq. ft.) and major initiatives (roads, multi-purpose amphitheatre, etc.). The services sector (+1.7%) primarily benefited from the fine performance of production-related services (finance, insurance, professional, scientific and technical services, etc.). Meanwhile, manufacturing declined for the fifth straight year as persistent concerns about the global economy and the US recovery caused output to drop to levels last seen in the early 2000s.

In 2013, real GDP is expected to increase by approximately 2% in the Quebec City CMA. A combination of multiple factors will support regional momentum, including the awarding of new contracts benefiting goods and services companies, not to mention continued efforts to launch major initiatives. Diversifying Quebec City’s key sectors wil also prove beneficial when it comes to adjusting to constraints imposed by the fragile global economic recovery.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Quebec International