The bad news: COVID-19’s brutal toll on provincial economies is worse than we previously anticipated. The provinces are expected to contract between 4.8% and 11.2% in 2020—by far the deepest recessions we’ve ever seen. The good news is that we’re heading into the recovery phase. Barring any setbacks, the worst is behind us. We’ll generally see a slow start, followed by a meaningful rebound in activity over the second half of the year continuing into 2021 – with each province going at its own pace.
The Atlantic Provinces faced blows of differing magnitudes to their economies in March and April. Newfoundland and Labrador had the double-whammy of the COVID-19 crisis plus a collapse in oil prices, whereas Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. were impacted similarly to the rest of Canada. Their respective recoveries will likely be just as diverse. With most of the impact hopefully in the past, the provinces can expect some recovery over the second half of this year into 2021. RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue joins us with the outlook for Atlantic Canada.
The COVID-19 crisis has hit Québec especially hard. The province is dealing with the highest number of cases in the country in parallel with one of the worst economic impacts. In fact, more jobs were lost over March and April than the past three recessions put together. But the government is forging ahead with re-opening plans – giving the economy a much needed shot in the arm to start its gradual recovery. RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue joins us with the outlook for Quebec.
The COVID-19 crisis pummeled Ontario’s economy and forced more than 1 million people out of a job over the past two months. While the province has avoided the worst scenarios, the government isn’t taking any chances. It’s chosen a methodical and cautious approach to re-opening, meaning its recovery will be gradual as well. What implications will that have for its diverse economy? How might it handle potential global supply chain disruptions? RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue joins us with the outlook for Ontario.
The economies of two of the Prairie Provinces have been relatively shielded from the COVID-19 damage, at least compared to the rest of the country, given their shorter lockdowns. However, they face headwinds: Manitoba’s manufacturing base is vulnerable to global supply chain disruptions, whereas Saskatchewan has had to deal with falling oil prices and international trade disputes. Despite that, both provinces will likely see modest recoveries through to next year. RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue joins us with the outlook for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
“Double-whammy” might be an understatement for what’s happening with Alberta’s economy. The twin shocks of oil prices and COVID-19 resulted in job losses in March and April that were worse than the last four recessions combined. But in a positive sign, the government recently put out an ambitious plan to reboot its economy and start a long and winding path to recovery. RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue joins us with the outlook for Alberta.
While B.C.’s forecasted GDP decline of 5% for 2020 is the worst ever in the province, it’s better relative to more than -7% across Canada. That’s encouraging news, especially as the province forges ahead with re-opening its economy. It allowed non-essential businesses to stay open through March and April, and given the prominence of its tech sector (tech has outperformed throughout the crisis), might feel even bullish about its recovery. RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue joins us with the outlook for British Columbia.
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