A Challenging Winter Season Ahead for Quebec: Quebec’s Two-Year Outlook—December 2020

The Conference Board of Canada, 15 pages, January 18, 2021
Issue briefing
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This quarterly economic forecast for the province of Quebec examines the economic outlook for the province, including gross domestic product (GDP), output by industry and labour market conditions.

Document Highlights

  • Quebec’s economic recovery has slowed with the second wave of COVID-19. GDP is expected to contract by 6.7 per cent in 2020 but will grow in 2021 by 4.7 per cent.
  • The labour market outlook is mixed, with job losses in sectors most affected by the latest restrictions offsetting employment gains elsewhere. However, employment growth should pick up in the new year. Lower immigration due to the pandemic is adding to concerns about labour shortages in several sectors.
  • For the first time in five years, the Quebec government faces a budget deficit in the 2020–21 fiscal year. Federal transfers are making up for the shortfall in tax revenue, and the government has announced broad spending measures to support the economy.
  • Private, non-residential investment will remain weak until business confidence improves. Social changes, such as increased remote working, will affect residential investment—particularly along urban–rural lines.
  • The recent presidential election results in the U.S. will hopefully normalize Quebec’s trade relations with the U.S., the province’s most important international partner. Both exports and imports showed encouraging signs of growth in the latter half of this year.

Table of Contents

Key findings

Quebec snapshot


Labour, income, and consumption outlook

Investment outlook

Government outlook

Trade outlook


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