By Chris Elliott, Senior Economist (Aug. 21/15) It’s been a challenging 2015, but Canada’s economy is forecast to expand by 2.1% in 2016, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s latest economic outlook. This is an improvement over the 1.6% real GDP growth projected for 2015.
The first half of the year was difficult for the Canadian economy. While the sharp drop in oil prices was a significant factor, output also declined in mining, manufacturing, construction, wholesale trade and transportation and warehousing. The good news is that Canada’s economy will improve in the second half of 2015 as a low Canadian dollar and strengthening United States economy will boost exports.
The increase in exports, combined with higher consumer spending, will lift economic activity across most of the country in 2016. British Columbia is forecast to lead the charge with a 3.4% jump in real GDP. In contrast, weak output in the energy sector will continue to restrain economic activity in Alberta and Newfoundland & Labrador.
While Canada’s economy will improve in 2016, lower commodity prices will shave an average of 0.3 percentage points off real GDP between 2015 and 2018 compared to last year’s forecast. Disposable income will also grow at a slower pace of 3.5% compared to the previous forecast of 4.2% growth. This will lead to slower foodservice sales growth during the forecast horizon.
The 2015-2019 Restaurant Industry Forecast is coming soon! This 28-page report with 40+ charts and tables includes a five-year forecast of industry performance by segment and province and is a ‘must have’ for operators planning for future growth. The Restaurant Industry Forecast will be available the first week of September for members only, and will be available on the Research page of the Restaurants Canada website.