Quebec's economic growth to pick up modestly in 2013: RBC Economics
TORONTO, March 19, 2013 /CNW/ - With several of the obstacles that restrained
Quebec's economic growth in 2012 now cleared, the province's economy is poised
for subtle improvement in 2013, according to the latest RBC Economics
Provincial Outlook issued today. RBC projects provincial real GDP to
accelerate to a rate of 1.2 per cent in 2013 from an estimated 0.8 per cent in
"The extended labour disruption in aluminum production, the rise in provincial
sales tax and months of student protests had a dampening effect on Quebec's
economic performance in 2012," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and
chief economist, RBC. "These obstacles have, for the most part been cleared,
and we see brighter days ahead, particularly as a result of increasing foreign
demand for the provinces' products."
This improved outlook for Quebec's exports is in part predicated on a recovery
in U.S. housing construction, which should boost demand for
Quebec-manufactured building materials such as wood products, says RBC.
Recent data suggests that Quebec's economy started to accelerate in the final
stages of 2012. The services sector showed signs of strength, with gains in
both business and household services, including a bounce back in education
services. The goods sector, however, remained a mixed bag; output by utilities
increased, construction moderated and manufacturing came to a halt.
Strong employment gains of nearly 92,000 between August 2012 and January 2013
in Quebec pushed the unemployment rate to a three-year low of 7.1 per cent in
January 2013. In addition, RBC expects slightly stronger labour market income
to support increased consumer spending in 2013.
"Despite some pockets of improvement, it's important to note that any upside
to provincial expansion this year will be limited," Wright noted. "After
substantial increases in Quebec over the last two years, capital investment
intentions are flattening. This will be the key factor holding back the growth
rate growth in the province this year."
Light construction activity at the tail end of last year will slow further in
2013 and act as a notable drag on growth. The slowdown in home resales since
last summer will translate to weaker housing starts and residential
investment, and non-residential capital expenditures will be flat at best in
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
Craig Wright, RBC Economics Research, 416 974-7457 Robert Hogue, RBC Economics
Research, 416 974-6192 Elyse Lalonde, Communications, RBC Capital Markets, 416
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NI: FIN ECO ECOSURV
-0- Mar/19/2013 09:00 GMT
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