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Statistics Canada : Provincial and territorial economic accounts, 2011

11/19/2012 | 09:52am US/Eastern

Most provinces and territories recorded slower economic growth in 2011 compared with 2010, with the exception of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Yukon, where growth accelerated. Nationally, real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.6%, compared with 3.2% growth in the previous year.

CSV version of the chart

The resource-rich provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Alberta increased their combined share of national GDP in nominal terms to 23% in 2011 from 22% in 2010. Yukon led the country with growth of 6.5% in 2011. The Northwest Territories economy contracted 5.1%.

Business investment drove growth in the Canadian economy, as well as most provincial and territorial economies in 2011, increasing 7.1% nationally on the strength of outlays in non-residential structures and machinery and equipment. Business investment declined in New Brunswick, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.

Housing investment, which slowed considerably across most of the country in 2011, declined in Alberta, New Brunswick and the three territories. However, its pace picked up in Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia.

Consumer spending advanced 2.4% nationally in 2011, compared with an increase of 3.5% in 2010. Saskatchewan and Nunavut recorded a faster pace of household consumption than in 2010.

The winding down of economic stimulus funding contributed to a 3.3% decline in government capital outlays nationally, following two years of increases averaging 9.0%. Government investment fell in every province except Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan. Public spending on infrastructure increased significantly in Yukon and Nunavut.

Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador recorded a 3.0% increase in real GDP in 2011, after leading the provinces with 6.3% growth in 2010. Exports edged up 0.2%, although exports to other countries declined for a third straight year. Final domestic demand increased 5.7%, the fastest pace in the country, driven by business investment related to construction in the oil and gas and mining sectors. Imports were up 2.0%.

Prince Edward Island's economy expanded 1.6% in 2011, compared with a 2.7% rise in 2010. Growth in 2011 was driven by a 4.2% increase in final domestic demand. Business investment in non-residential structures and machinery and equipment rebounded 46.6% to return to pre-2009 levels. Business investment in residential housing rose 5.9%, its third straight year of steady gains. Exports declined 1.2%, the weakest rate among the provinces.

In Nova Scotia, real GDP advanced 0.5% in 2011, following a 1.9% increase in 2010. Consumer spending increased 1.5%, the slowest pace among the provinces, as outlays on consumer durable goods, notably new and used motor vehicles, declined. Business investment advanced 6.9%, driven by a 50.8% increase in outlays for machinery and equipment. Exports edged down 0.1%, while imports increased 3.3%.

New Brunswick's economy was flat in 2011, after growing 3.1% in 2010. Final domestic demand contracted 0.5%. Business investment was down 3.6%, the third year of decline. Government current and capital outlays were also down. Exports advanced 0.9%, while imports gained 0.2%, driven by trade with the rest of Canada. The province's international trade contracted.

Central Canada

Real GDP advanced 1.9% in Quebec in 2011, compared with an increase of 2.5% in 2010. Final domestic demand expanded 2.4% on gains in business investment, consumer spending and government outlays. Business investment in residential housing grew 0.7%, a much slower pace than in 2010 (+9.5%). Exports decreased 0.2%, owing to lower exports to other countries. Imports were up 4.2%.

The economy grew 1.8% in Ontario in 2011, following a 3.2% expansion in 2010. Exports were up 5.7%, with notable increases in shipments of nickel to other countries. Business investment in non-residential structures and machinery and equipment increased 13.8%. Business investment in residential housing was up 3.8%, twice the national average. Imports increased 7.5%.

Western Canada

Manitoba's economy advanced 2.0% in 2011, after increasing 2.5% the year before. Final domestic demand was up 1.3%, slower than its 5.5% increase in 2010. Business investment fell 0.8%, as a result of lower outlays on non-residential structures. Consumer spending increased 2.2%. Farm inventories were reduced, as heavy rains and flooding curtailed crop production. Exports were up 5.7%, boosted by international exports of nickel.

Saskatchewan's real GDP increased 4.9% in 2011, compared with a 4.4% rise in 2010. Exports were up 7.7%. Sharply higher exports of crude oil more than offset lower wheat exports. Consumer spending accelerated from the year before, gaining 3.0% as households increased outlays on durable goods, notably new trucks and used motor vehicles, and services. Business investment in residential structures (+18.8%) doubled its pace from 2010. Imports rose 8.5%.

Alberta's economy grew at the fastest rate among the provinces in 2011, expanding 5.1% compared with an increase of 4.0% in 2010. Exports advanced 9.2%, more than four times their pace in 2010. Consumer spending rose 3.4%, driven by household outlays on durable goods, notably new trucks and used motor vehicles, and services. Business investment was up 7.6%, despite a 5.2% decline in investment in residential housing.

Economic output advanced 2.8% in British Columbia in 2011, following 3.2% growth the previous year. Business investment increased 9.3%, driven by outlays on non-residential structures and machinery and equipment. Business investment in residential structures was up 3.4%, more than double the pace in 2010. Exports rose 4.9% and imports 6.6%.

The territories

Real GDP in Yukon rose 6.5% in 2011, the fastest pace in the country, following 5.5% growth in 2010. Exports jumped 22.0%, more than double their pace in 2010. Business investment rose 6.5% on the strength of outlays on mineral exploration. Consumer spending increased 4.5%, the fastest pace in Canada. Household spending on services was up notably, driven by rents, air transportation and food and non-alcoholic beverage services. Imports were up 18.2%.

In the Northwest Territories, economic activity contracted 5.1%, after expanding 2.0% in 2010. Exports fell 7.2% as a result of lower diamond shipments to other countries. Final domestic demand also contracted, as business investment decreased 7.8% and governments reduced outlays on infrastructure. Consumer spending rose 1.2%, the weakest pace in the country. Imports were down 1.7%.

Nunavut's economy expanded 4.6% in 2011, following 16.6% growth in 2010. Exports (+18.6%) continued to grow on increased gold and silver mining. Business investment rose 14.7%, driven by outlays on mineral exploration. Government outlays on infrastructure were also up. Consumer spending rose 3.9%, while imports increased 10.4%.

Note to readers

Periodically, the provincial and territorial economic accounts undergo historical revisions, which are much broader in scope than the regular revisions undertaken on an annual basis. These historical revisions are reserved for incorporating updated international national accounting standards, as well as conceptual, classification, presentational and major statistical changes.

This release incorporates such revisions back to 2007. Revisions back to 1981 will be released in 2013. The revisions are consistent with those incorporated in the Canadian economic accounts, published on October 1, 2012. This release also incorporates the new provincial and territorial input-output accounts benchmarks for reference year 2009. Revised provincial-territorial gross domestic product (GDP) by industry will be released on December 14.

Similar to the national results, the implementation of these historical revisions did not result in substantial changes to the level, nominal growth rate or real growth rate of provincial or territorial GDP. The revised accounts provide additional information that present a more comprehensive picture of the provincial and territorial economies in Canada.

Products, services and contact information

All of Statistics Canada's information and data on the System of national economic accounts are available in the National economic accounts web module, accessible from the Key resource module of our website.

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