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Canadian economic forecast

Canadian Outlook Economic Forecast

This quarterly economic forecast presents the short-term national outlook. 

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Download the Autumn 2019 outlook

Published: November 22, 2019 (138 pages)


  • Global economic growth is slowing as trade tensions impact businesses’ investment decisions and households’ purchasing power.
  • After gaining nearly 4 per cent in the second quarter, growth in the Canadian economy is expected to moderate over the remainder of the year. Real GDP is forecast to increase by 1.6 per cent this year.
  • Canadian labour markets have performed very well over the first half of the year, but job growth will slow over the second half of the year alongside a weaker economy.
  • Tight labour markets will help sustain wage growth and consumer spending over the near term, despite the debt-service ratio reaching an all-time high in the second quarter.
  • The housing market is recovering as strong employment and population growth, coupled with lower mortgage rates, is supporting demand.
  • It has been another weak year for business investment in Canada; however, 2020 looks more promising with energy investment poised for a small rebound and as pipeline projects move forward.
  • The export sector will feel the impact of slowing global demand.

Canadian Outlook Long-Term Economic Forecast

This annual economic forecast presents the long-term national outlook. The U.S. economic outlook is presented in a separate section.

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Download the 2019 Long-Term Outlook

Published: December 7, 2018 (219 pages)


  • The Canadian economy is projected to grow by 2 per cent in 2018 and 2019. However, growth is expected to slow to below 2 per cent beginning in 2020.
  • The economy has been driven by robust household spending in recent years. This has been spurred in part by high home prices and a large increase in consumer debt.
  • Over the next few years, employment growth will be constrained by slow labour force growth and low unemployment. This will combine with high household debt and rising interest rates to temper real consumer spending.
  • Non-residential business investment has not yet recovered from its decline following the commodities price crash of 2014. The current weakness is largely the result of low investment in mining.
  • Business investment is expected to post solid growth as the new US–Mexico–Canada trade deal lowers uncertainty and businesses respond to high levels of capacity utilization.
  • The economy has operated below full capacity over the last several years. However, it is projected to reach full capacity in 2020. After that, economic growth will be limited to an average of 1.7 or 1.8 per cent.


GDP (%)
February  2019, CANSIM

Projected GDP Growth (%)
Q1 2019, CBoC

Employment, Canada
February 2019, CANSIM

Projected Employment Growth
Q1 2019, CBoC

Merchandise Exports (%)
February 2019, CANSIM

Overnight Rate
 April 2019, BoC

CPI (%, YoY)
April 2019, CANSIM

Building Permits (%, YoY)
February 2019, CANSIM

Retail Sales (%)
February 2019, CANSIM

Consumer confidence
November 2019, CBoC

Business Confidence
Q3 2019, CBoC

Leading Index
March 2019, CBoC

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