Tough Times Ahead: Provincial Outlook—November 2020

The Conference Board of Canada, 20 pages, November 25, 2020
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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

  • Canada’s economy is on the mend, but the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are far from over. We expect localized closures and retrenchments in some segments of household spending and business activity to hold back the pace of recovery into mid-2021.
  • The economic outlook varies for Canada’s provinces because of the different effects of the pandemic on the country’s industries.
  • A resurgence in COVID-19 cases globally will hold back demand for energy and keep the recovery in tourism on hold.
  • Massive government support has lifted aggregate household incomes well above their 2019 levels, supporting a surge in retail spending over the summer months.
  • The income support, coupled with rock-bottom interest rates, has fired up housing markets across the country. The finance, insurance, and real estate sector will do well this year despite the pandemic.
  • For most provinces, economic activity will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels until the second half of 2021.
  • The federal and provincial governments are running up massive deficits this year. We expect growth in government spending to slow sharply once the crisis is past.

Table of Contents

Key findings

National overview

Newfoundland and Labrador

Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia

New Brunswick






British Columbia

Appendix A: Methodology

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