Canadian GDP Increased 4.8% in 2021, as COVID-19 Restrictions Eased

Statistics Canada (StatsCan) reported on Monday (5-2-22) that real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 11 out of 12 provinces and all 3-territories in 2021. The only exception was the province of Saskatchewan. This occurred as many parts of the Canadian economy continued to emerge from the significant economic contraction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report notes that, in 2021, all levels of government across Canada used various measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus and its re-mergence during the year.

According to the report, the province of Ontario contributed 1.79% to the nation’s overall increase in GDP of 4.8% for 2021. That was followed by Quebec, accounting for 1.12% points of the national growth. British Columbia contributed 0.84%, surpassing Alberta’s contribution of 0.76%. This occurred despite Alberta’s solid recovery in oil and gas extraction, thanks to the strength of British Columbia’s large real estate sector—as well as severe drought impacting agriculture in the Prairie provinces.

With a specific focus on construction, the report notes that the high demand for housing in 2021 was mirrored in residential building construction, for which some jurisdictions saw the highest GDP growth rates in two decades or more. In Prince Edward Island, the construction sector was up 10.2%, with two-thirds of that increase coming from residential construction. Increased residential construction activity in Nova Scotia, combined with a new solar garden project that contributed to electric power engineering construction (+62.8%), helped the construction sector lead growth for the goods-producing industries. Following three years of decline, construction grew in Alberta, with an increase in residential building construction (+16.8%) and renewable energy projects, which contributed to electric power engineering construction (+55.3%).

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