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Which Province Ranks the Highest in Trade and Commerce?

Posted: 11/12/2013 7:56 am

All eyes are on international trade as we head into 2014. If we as a country are going to chalk up decent growth numbers, external activity is going to have to punch above its weight. Conditions seem favourable for a growth acceleration -- but will all of Canada's provinces cash in on the growth?

Generally speaking, those conditions are positive for all provinces. Which of them won't benefit from an upswing in U.S. growth, a sustained gentle decline in the Canadian dollar or strong international demand for Canada's primary resources? Even so, growth patterns across the land vary considerably as the pricing environment, one-off market factors and supply conditions alter short-run prospects.

On top of the rankings for 2014 is British Columbia. Its forestry sector is reaping the bonanza fuelled by the revival of the U.S. housing market, which has boosted new home construction and renovation activity. But it's not the only game in town; new mines are the prime reason behind double-digit gains in industrial goods exports. At the same time, energy exports will rebound, thanks to improved demand for coal and rising natural gas prices. Broadly-based growth makes B.C. Canada's all-rounder.

All other provinces will see single-digit growth next year. Nova Scotia gets credit for the most even growth profile, sporting decent back-to-back 7 per cent gains. The big driver of growth this year is the forestry sector, thanks to the restart of the NewPage paper mill in Port Hawkesbury. Next year's result is largely due to surging Deep Panuke gas production. Growth is more modest than average in all other sectors.

The prize for the greatest one-year improvement goes to Prince Edward Island, which will see growth go from 1 per cent this year to 6 per cent in 2014. Key to this is a turnaround in the machinery and equipment and aerospace sectors, both strongly tied to the improvement in US demand. The agri-food sector will also do well, thanks to decent production and strong global demand conditions.

Canada's 'middle' economies will also occupy middle ground in the growth rankings. Export activity in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba will hug the national average, as a diversified industrial base ramps up, thanks to increased global growth. None of the provinces has a particularly bad-news story, with most industries varying modestly around overall average performance.

Outright declines in activity are non-existent at the provincial level. Deceleration in growth is also rare, but it will affect two of the provinces next year. Saskatchewan will see growth ease back from 4 per cent to 2 per cent, solely the result of the sharp decline in global potash prices. Alberta's deceleration is largely due to growth in the energy sector that will not be as rapid as in 2013. A sharp slowing will hit petrochemicals and minerals exports at the same time as pricing reins in agri-food sector growth.

While provincial growth looks like a tableau of winners, losers and average-growth provinces, it is important to note that in most cases, weaker-growth sectors are actually dealing with a softer pricing environment in the resources industries. Oil and gas, base metals and certain agricultural products are coming off highs, and some markets are in retreat as hints of tighter monetary policy are weighing on certain asset classes. A key exception is the auto sector, where tight supply is limiting growth.

The bottom line? Canada's export sector will be accelerating in 2014 as world growth ramps up, leading the charge for the economy as a whole. Few industries will be left out of this dynamism, and from the current vantage point, it looks like all provinces will capture a share of the action.

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  • Estimated population growth rates across the country, according to figures from Statistics Canada.

  • 13. Nova Scotia (-0.5 per cent)

  • Between July 2012 and July 2013, Nova Scotia actually saw the largest population contraction in all of Canada. The Maritime province shrank by an estimated 0.5 per cent, from 945,061 to 940,789.

  • 12. Northwest Territories (-0.2 per cent)

  • The Northwest Territories also shrank, with its already small population of 43,620 contracting to 43,537, a -0.2 per cent negative growth rate from 2012 to 2013.

  • 11. New Brunswick (-0.1 per cent)

  • New Brunswick, like most of its Maritime neighbours, saw its population contract. The province saw a 0.1 per cent population reduction, from 756,997 in 2012, to 756,050 in 2013.

  • 10. Newfoundland (zero per cent)

  • Although the change was too small to measure in percentage points, the Rock did shrink marginally from 526,841 in 2012 to 526,702 in 2013.

  • 9. Prince Edward Island (zero per cent)

  • Like Newfoundland, the population growth rate in Prince Edward Island was too small to measure in percentage points but it did grow slightly from 145,165 in 2012 to 145,237 in 2013.

  • 8. British Columbia (0.8 Per cent)

  • If we go from the East Coast to the West Coast, we see growth rates start to rank in the positive side of the ledger. B.C. grew by 0.8 per cent from 4,543,308 in 2012 to 4,581,978 in 2013.

  • 7. Ontario (0.9 per cent)

  • Between 2012 and 2013, Ontario grew from 13,411,994 to 13,537,994, achieving a growth rate of 0.9 per cent.

  • 7. Quebec (0.9 per cent)

  • Quebec tied Ontario for population growth, growing from 8,084,059 in 2012 to 8,155,334 in 2013. Quebec also grew by an estimated 0.9 per cent.

  • Canadian Population Estimate 2013

  • Canada's population is estimated to have grown by 1.2 per cent from 34,754,312 in 2012 to 35,158,304 as of July 1, 2013.

  • 5. Yukon (1.2 per cent)

  • The Yukon and Manitoba both experienced a 1.2 per cent estimated population growth. The territory grew from 36,247 in 2012 to 36,700 in 2013.

  • 5. Manitoba (1.2 per cent)

  • Manitoba's 1.2 per cent growth rate saw the province expand from an estimated 1,250,032 in 2012 to 1,265,015 in 2013.

  • 3. Saskatchewan (1.9 per cent)

  • Saskatchewan was for decades the province that couldn't grow but has seen its fortunes turn this century. It is now the second fastest growing province in Canada with an estimated growth rate of 1.9 per cent. Saskatchewan grew from 1,087,546 in 2012 to 1,108,303 in 2013.

  • 2. Nunavut (2.5 per cent)

  • Nunavut saw the second highest growth rate of all regions in Canada, recording 2.5 per cent growth. The territory grew from 34,703 people in 2012 to 35,591 in 2013.

  • 1. Alberta (3.4 per cent)

  • Alberta set the pace in growth according to Stats Canada figure, recording a growth rate of 3.4 per cent that saw the province break the four-million mark, growing from 3,888,739 in 2012 to 4,025,074 in 2013.

  • Where's the money? Click through for a break down of provincial economies --->

  • Economic Growth By Province, 2013

    Pictured: Montreal skyline

  • New Brunswick: 1%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

  • Ontario: 1.4%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

  • Quebec: 1.4%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

  • Prince Edward Island: 1.4%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

  • Nova Scotia: 1.5%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

  • British Columbia: 1.6%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

  • National average: 1.8%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

  • Manitoba: 2.3%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

  • Alberta: 3.1%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

  • Saskatchewan: 3.8%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 6.1%

    Projection for 2013 from Conference Board of Canada.

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    BEST, WORST PROVINCES TO FIND A JOB

  • WORST: Newfoundland & Labrador - 12.4

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 12: Nova Scotia - 10.8

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 11: Nunvaut - 9.7

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 10: New Brunswick - 8.3

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 9: Prince Edward Island - 7.4

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 8: Quebec - 6.9

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

  • 7: Ontario - 6.8

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a> Pictured: The Ottawa Congress Centre.

  • 6: British Columbia - 5.3

    Number of job-seekers for every job available, in the three months ending in August, 2012. Source: <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121120/dq121120c-eng.htm">StatsCan</a>

 
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