Uneven Recovery: Provincial Outlook—August 2020

The Conference Board of Canada, 22 pages, August 24, 2020
Impact paper
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This quarterly economic forecast provides highlights of the Provincial Outlook report, which presents the short-term outlook for Canada's provinces.

Document Highlights

  • The pandemic-led shutdown produced a deep and synchronized impact on economic activity across all provinces in March and April.
  • Provinces dependent on the energy sector—notably, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador—have been hit especially hard by the double whammy of collapsing oil prices and the economic shutdown due to the virus.
  • COVID-19 continues to hamper the global economic recovery, especially air transportation. This will keep demand for oil and other resources down until well into 2022.
  • Ontario and Quebec would have fared even worse this year were it not for the ability of employees in the financial sector and in other business services industries to work remotely.
  • The Maritime provinces suffered less severe downturns, thanks in part to having fewer COVID-19 cases. Their recoveries in 2021 will be less strong than those of the other provinces.
  • Manitoba has, so far, done a good job of containing the spread of the virus. Still, its key aerospace manufacturing industry will be hard hit by global travel restrictions.
  • Helped by some key advantages, including a better fiscal position heading into the pandemic, British Columbia will experience less severe economic damage from the virus than most provinces.
  • For most provinces, economic activity will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels until the second half of 2021.

Table of Contents

  • Key findings
  • National overview
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick
  • Quebec
  • Ontario
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Appendix A - Methodology

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