Ottawa, November 19, 2012—After two years of tepid growth, economic prospects for Quebec in 2013 hinge largely on whether consumers open their wallets, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Provincial Outlook-Autumn 2012.
Quebec’s economy has faced challenges with household spending and exports barely growing at all in the first part of 2012,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, Associate Director, Provincial Outlook. “Real gross domestic product is expected to grow at its slowest pace in more than 15 years, excluding 2009, when the economy was being battered by the recession.”
Economic conditions have been difficult over the past year as the job market stalled and tax hikes and other fiscal measures squeezed consumer expenditures early on in 2012. Quebec’s economy is forecast to grow by 0.9 per cent in 2012, one of the slowest growth rates in Canada this year.
Thanks to an expected increase in consumer spending and a long-awaited return to stronger growth in exports, the Quebec economy is forecast to improve somewhat in 2013 and 2014. Still, with gains of 1.6 per cent in 2013 and 2.1 per cent in 2014, real GDP growth will remain well below the national average.
With employment growth expected to increase by 1.2 per cent next year, growth in real disposable income will be stronger than it was in 2012. As a result, consumers will have slightly more room to increase their spending, although a large part of that spending will continue to be fuelled by cheap credit.
The world economy is expected to gain traction next year and Quebec’s international sales of primary metals, aerospace products, and other goods are all forecast to rebound after this year’s decline. On the downside, total investment in the province is anticipated to post a slight decline in 2013, because of slowdowns in government investment and residential construction.