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Quebec's Economy Poised to Pick Up Some Momentum in 2013: RBC Economics

Quebec's Economy Poised to Pick Up Some Momentum in 2013: RBC Economics 
TORONTO, Dec. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Despite a lacklustre performance in 2012, 
Quebec's economy is poised for a slight acceleration in 2013, according to the 
latest Provincial Outlook issued today by RBC Economics Research. RBC 
forecasts provincial growth of 1.6 per cent in 2013, up from 0.9 per cent in 
2012. 
RBC indicates that some of the factors contributing to Quebec's economic 
weakness in the early part of 2012 - specifically, the six-month labour 
disruption at an aluminum plant, the rise in provincial sales tax in January, 
the warmer weather conditions and months of student protests - temporarily 
weighed on the province's exports, consumer spending, and demand for 
electricity and education. 
"The disappointing performance across several sectors in Quebec, which weighed 
heavily on growth in 2012, will only have fleeting affects on the provincial 
economy," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. 
"The reduced impact of these transitory factors, along with improving U.S. 
demand for Quebec exports, will brighten the province's economic prospects and 
drive the pace of growth next year." 
Still, RBC warns that Quebec's economy will continue to face significant 
headwinds, largely driven by fiscal restraints at all levels of government. In 
its 2013-2014 budget, the provincial government reiterated its commitment to 
ambitious program spending targets. These targets will translate to absolute 
declines in spending - in areas other than health, education and family - and 
will ultimately apply downward pressure on economic contributions from the 
public sector. 
Following eight years of rapid increases, the Quebec government is reducing 
the medium-term infrastructure plan in its budget, which means that outright 
capital expenditure cuts will begin in 2013. 
Beyond the public sector, RBC expects that the recent cooling in housing 
market activity will slow residential investment in 2013. 
As demand from the U.S. gains strength and the provincial housing market 
stabilizes, RBC anticipates further scope for improvement in Quebec's outlook 
with real GDP growth of 1.9 per cent in 2014. 
The RBC Economics Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to 
economic growth, employment growth, unemployment rates, retail sales, housing 
starts and consumer price indices. The full report and provincial details are 
available online as of 8 a.m. ET today at 
rbc.com/economics/market/pdf/provfcst.pdf. 
Craig Wright, RBC Economics Research, 416-974-7457 Robert Hogue, RBC Economics 
Research, 416 974-6192 Elyse Lalonde, Corporate Communications, RBC Capital 
Markets, 416 842-5635 
SOURCE: RBC 
To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2012/13/c8636.html 
CO: RBC
ST: Ontario
NI: FIN ECOSURV ECO  
-0- Dec/13/2012 10:00 GMT