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Provincial and territorial economic accounts, 2018

Released: 2019-11-07

Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose in all provinces and territories except Newfoundland and Labrador. Nationally, real GDP grew 2.0%, after increasing 3.2% in 2017—reflecting slower growth in all regions except Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Increased exports from most regions and a modest rise in household spending contributed to the growth. These increases were partly offset by declines in business investment in non-residential construction resulting from the completion of major construction projects in several provinces and territories. This coincided with downward pressure on housing activity following the implementation of tightened mortgage rules and higher interest rates.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Real gross domestic product, 2018
Real gross domestic product, 2018

Newfoundland and Labrador

Real GDP in Newfoundland and Labrador fell 3.5% in 2018, the largest drop since 2012.

This was due to a sharp decline in business investment in non-residential structures (-26.1%), largely owing to completion of the Hebron oil field in 2017 and the Maritime Link Project with Nova Scotia. Business investment in machinery and equipment declined 6.9%, while investment in intellectual property products rose 7.5%.

Household spending on durable goods fell 3.4% in tandem with a decline in housing investment (-4.8%). Growth in outlays for services slowed to 1.1%, down from 2.0% in 2017. Exports rose 5.4% and imports grew 3.9%.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island's economy rose 2.6%, after increasing 4.4% in 2017.

Growth in real GDP was attributable to a 4.6% increase in exports and a 6.8% rise in housing investment, coinciding with an inflow of international immigrants in recent years. The increase was moderated by slower growth in household spending (+1.6%), down from 2.4% in 2017, and declines in business investment in non-residential structures (-4.4%) and in machinery and equipment (-3.4%). Growth in imports slowed to 2.2% from 4.5% in 2017.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's economy grew 1.5%, a similar pace to 2017.

Growth was led by higher investment in residential structures (+5.4%), as well as a sharp increase in business investment in intellectual property products (+56.4%), with increased oil and gas and mineral exploration activities.

Growth was dampened by a 29.0% drop in investment in non-residential structures, as a result of completion of the Maritime Link Project and of a new gold mine in 2017. Growth in household spending slowed to 1.2%, after a 2.9% rise in 2017. Exports rose 2.4% and imports grew 3.2%.

New Brunswick

Growth in New Brunswick's economy slowed to 0.8%, after a 2.2% rise in 2017.

Growth was driven by housing investment (+2.7%) and business investment in machinery and equipment (+6.6%). These increases were moderated by lower exports (-4.3%), as well as a decline in business investment in non-residential structures (-5.4%), which fell with completion of the Cable Interconnection Upgrade Project.

Growth in household spending slowed to 0.8%, compared with a 2.9% upturn in 2017. Imports fell 2.7%, after rising 8.2% in 2017.

Quebec

Quebec's economy grew 2.5%, a slight deceleration from the 2.8% rise in 2017.

Growth was led by housing investment (+4.0%) and government investment (+9.4%), as well as exports (+4.2%) which stemmed from aircraft, metal ores, and farm and fishing products. These increases were moderated by declines in business investment in non-residential structures (-0.9%) and in machinery and equipment (-1.6%).

The slowdown in household spending was broad-based: growth in durable goods slowed to 3.0% from 5.3% in 2017; semi-durable goods slowed to 1.3% from 1.9%; non-durable goods slowed to 1.5% from 2.0%; and services slowed to 2.5% from 3.7%. Imports rose 2.8%, after increasing 6.0% in 2017.

Ontario

Ontario's economy grew 2.2%, after rising 2.9% in 2017.

Growth was led by household spending (+2.5%) and a rapid rise in business investment in machinery and equipment (+11.5%). Lower housing investment (-3.3%)—the sharpest decline since 2009—slowed overall growth. This decrease was attributable to a substantial drop in resale activities. Growth in business investment in non-residential structures slowed to 1.0%, down from 3.2% in 2017.

Growth in household spending on durable goods slowed to 2.9% from 8.5% in 2017, and growth in spending on semi-durable goods slowed to 2.2% from 5.6%. Growth in spending on services decelerated to 2.5% from 3.4% in 2017. Exports rose 0.9% and imports grew 1.6%.

Manitoba

Manitoba's real GDP growth slowed to 1.3%, following a 3.1% rise in 2017.

Growth was primarily driven by business investment in non-residential structures (+8.8%). This increase was moderated by a substantial drop in business investment in machinery and equipment (-11.4%) following completion of hydro transmission lines and a generating station. Growth in housing investment dropped to 0.4% from 9.5% in 2017.

Growth in household spending on goods slowed to 1.7% from 4.4% in 2017, and growth in spending on services slowed to 1.9% from 3.2%. A 3.3% increase in exports was offset by a 3.6% rise in imports.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan's economy grew 1.3%, following a 1.7% rise in 2017.

The primary drivers of growth were increased exports (+3.0%), higher business investments in non-residential structures (+3.9%) and in intellectual property products (+21.4%), with increased oil and gas and mineral exploration activities. These increases were moderated by declines in business investment in machinery and equipment (-5.6%) and in housing investment (-12.4%), coinciding with a weak job market.

Growth in household spending slowed to 1.0% from 2.1% in 2017. Growth in imports slowed to 1.4%, after rising 4.4% in 2017.

Alberta

Alberta's economy grew 1.6%, following a 4.8% rise in 2017.

Growth was led by higher exports (+6.5%), which stemmed largely from crude oil and bitumen, as well as by increased household spending on services (+2.4%). These increases were moderated by a decline in housing investment (-3.4%) after rising 3.1% in 2017.

Household spending on durable goods declined 0.2% after rising 7.8% in the previous year; spending on semi-durable goods remained flat, and growth in spending on non-durable goods slowed to 2.1% from 3.6%. Outlays on services rose slightly to 2.4% from 2.1% in 2017. Imports rose 5.1%, after rising 5.4% in 2017.

British Columbia

Real GDP in British Columbia rose 2.6%, following a 3.7% increase in 2017.

Growth was largely driven by household spending on services (+3.0%), increased business investment in machinery and equipment (+5.5%), as well as higher exports (+4.2%) led by natural gas and coal. Growth was dampened by a substantial decline in housing investment (-2.5%) because of a sharp drop in resale activities. Coinciding with this decline, growth in household spending on durable goods slowed to 0.9%, compared with an 8.3% increase in 2017. Growth in imports slowed to 2.9%, after rising 5.6% in 2017.

Yukon

Yukon's economy grew 3.3%, following a 0.9% increase in 2017.

Growth was driven by a sharp rise in business investment in machinery and equipment (+111.7%) and in non-residential structures (+133.7%), with the ramp-up of Eagle gold mine construction. This rise was partly offset by a 12.6% decline in exports, in conjunction with a 7.3% rise in imports. In tandem with decreased housing investment (-5.9%), spending on durable goods fell 3.4%. Growth in household spending on all goods and services slowed to 1.2% from 3.1% in 2017.

Northwest Territories

Real GDP in the Northwest Territories rose 1.9%, a similar pace to 2017.

The growth was led by a substantial increase in government investment (+18.6%), mainly in electric power and transmission infrastructure projects. A sharp decrease in business investment in machinery and equipment (-26.7%) moderated the growth. Growth in household spending slowed to 1.3% from 2.1% in 2017. Exports rose 0.8% and imports edged up 0.6% in 2018.

Nunavut

Nunavut's real GDP grew 7.6%, after rising 11.4% in 2017.

This growth was driven by a sharp increase in business investments in machinery and equipment (+79.1%), as well as in non-residential structures (+21.7%), mainly attributable to development of the Meliadine and Amaruq gold mines. Government investment rose 25.0%, with construction of Nunavut Arctic College and the naval re-fuelling station at Nanisivik. Growth in household spending decelerated to 1.1% from 1.9% in 2017. Exports rose 11.2% and imports grew 14.6% in 2018.

  Note to readers

This release incorporates revisions to the Provincial and Territorial Economic Accounts for 2016 and 2017 and the addition of estimates for 2018. Estimates of provincial–territorial gross domestic product by industry from 2016 to 2018 were also revised. Both incorporate the 2016 benchmark provincial and territorial supply and use tables, revisions to the national income and expenditure accounts released today, as well as revised source data. This release reflects the integration of non-medical cannabis and historical updates to travel services.

Percentage changes for expenditure-based statistics (such as household spending, exports and imports) are calculated from volume measures adjusted for price variations. Percentage changes for income-based statistics (such as compensation of employees and net operating surplus of corporations) are calculated from nominal values; that is, not adjusted for price variations.

For more information on gross domestic product, see the video "What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?"

Products

Provincial and territorial gross domestic product by income and expenditure accounts

This release also presents new 2018 as well as revised 2016 and 2017 data on provincial and territorial gross domestic product (GDP) by income and expenditure.

Provincial and territorial GDP by income and expenditure accounts includes estimates of income- and expenditure-based GDP, real GDP, contributions to percent change in real GDP, implicit price indexes, the current accounts for the household sector, the property income of households and other selected indicators for the household sector.

The data visualization product "Provincial and territorial economic accounts: Interactive tool," which is part of Statistics Canada—Data Visualization Products (Catalogue number71-607-X) is now available.

The Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (Catalogue number13-605-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is available.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available.

Gross domestic product by industry – Provincial and territorial (annual)

Revised figures for 2016 to 2018 provincial and territorial GDP by industry are included with this release.

The data visualization product "Gross domestic product (GDP) by industry, provinces and territories: Interactive tool," which is part of Statistics Canada — Data Visualization Products (Catalogue number71-607-X) is now available. This tool seeks to facilitate user interaction with GDP data as part of Statistics Canada's corporate vision to make data more accessible.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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