Quebec, B.C. and Alberta to top economic growth over next couple of years

By The IJ Staff | October 17 2019 09:59AM

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Quebec will lead the provinces in economic growth this year, with British Columbia and Alberta claiming the top spots in 2020 and 2021, respectively, says a fourth-quarter provincial economic outlook by Scotiabank Economics.

“Lifted by firm job creation and an upswing in machinery and equipment investment, Quebec will lead the provinces in economic growth in 2019,” said Marc Desormeaux, provincial economist at Scotiabank. “Work related to the LNG Canada venture in Kitimat should propel B.C. to the top of the table in 2020, with an uptick in investment activity expected to drive Alberta’s growth in 2021.”

Quebec to achieve highest provincial growth

In its report, Scotiabank says Quebec has had a “remarkable streak” of above-trend real GDP gains, and is now expected to top provincial growth rankings this year before moderating to a more sustainable rate in 2020–21.

Particularly auspicious is the upswing in machinery and equipment investment, putting investment on a healthy trajectory this year alongside a second quarter rebound in non-residential building, major transit projects and hefty infrastructure outlays.

Scotiabank believes British Columbia will lead the provinces in job creation this year and next, and in economic growth in the latter year based on LNG Canada’s Kitimat venture.  However, the most significant contribution to B.C.’s growth will come next year, with the largest annual jump in capital spending between 2019 and 2020.

Alberta expected to have economic growth over next two years

Alberta is anticipated to have a soft expansion this year, with a rebound to growth of about 2.5% in the ensuing two years. Oil and gas investment remains muted amid heightened uncertainty via insufficient pipeline transportation capacity. That has translated into other corners of the provincial economy, reflected in employment growth well below the national average and softness to date this year across home building, retail sales, and non-residential construction.

Scotiabank made a modest upward revision to its forecast of Ontario’s economic growth this year largely reflecting a solid rebound in the second quarter that followed two quarters of weak expansion. That mirrors a jump in automobile production that looks to have lifted exports, as well as an increase in residential investment that rallied from early-year doldrums.

To learn more, consult the full report here.

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