(Montreal) Who would have thought? Quebec has been among the least affected in Canada by the great recession may have relapsed into decay in the second half of 2010.
The gross domestic product (GDP) fell for the third time in four months in October, said yesterday the Statistical Institute of Quebec (ISQ). The slight decline of 0.1% follows the much more severe by 0.4% in September, announced a first time to 0.3%. In July, economic activity had also collapsed by 0.4%. For the entire quarter, the economy had contracted 0.4%, while it increased 1.0% from coast to coast.
"A significant catching up will be necessary to reduce real GDP in positive territory for the last quarter of 2010," said Helene Begin, senior economist at Desjardins. Ms. Bégin believes it is too early to leave open the scepter of a recession, alleging that the ISQ makes frequent revisions. The institution Lévis believes this slump will be short lived. At least this is indicated by its index precursor which rebounded over the past two months.
But not enough to avoid possible technical recession which is two quarters of negative growth in a row. Between the recessions of 1990-1992 and 2008-2009, Quebec has also been three: in 1995, 2001 and 2003.
"The recession we learn after the fact are still less evil," says Marc Pinsonneault wisely, chief economist at National Bank. With the indicators so far known, a relapse into recession, what have avoided the Canada and the United States, is not unlikely in the distinct society.
Pinsonneault believes that even a 0.2% growth in November and December is not sufficient to restore the GDP in positive territory for the entire fourth quarter. In October, the Canadian economy had achieved a 0.2% gain, largely due to the resumption of oil and gas production, slowed last month.
In November, Quebec has experienced rather the final closure of the Shell refinery.
That said, Quebec's economy was still expanding in the new economic cycle began in the summer of 2009. Before entering into a recession in the fall of 2008, the value of real GDP stood at 249.1 billion dollars. Three quarters of recession have pushed back by 1.3%, to 245 billion. In October, it stood at 253, 08 billion, says Réjean Aubé, an economist at ISQ.
After 10 months in 2010, the economy posted growth of 3.1% over the corresponding period of 2009, compared to 3.3% for Canadian growth. In October, the decrease is attributable to goods-producing industries, which together were down 0.7%. The services sector grew by 0.2%.
This reflects the weakness of exports from Quebec who have not recovered since the recession, while they catch up some ground lost in all of Canada, says Pinsonneault. The aerospace segment has much to do, forestry as well. To understand the magnitude of Quebec's trade deficit and its adverse effect on growth, remember that the hole has widened from 4.7 billion in the third quarter, pushing the abyss to 35.1 billion. Despite a recovery of 5.9% in November, boosted by shipments of petroleum (the swan song of Shell?), The cumulative volume of exports was down 1.3% after 11 months in Quebec, so that it rebounded 8.1% in Canada, says the ISQ.