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Economic Viewpoint

Choppy waters in the global economy are holding Quebec’s exports in check

February 24, 2016
François Dupuis, Vice-President and Chief Economist • Hélène Bégin, Senior Economist

Quebec’s international exports have made considerable progress in the past five years. Since touching bottom after the 2008–2009 recession, shipments abroad have recovered all the ground that was lost, and even hit a new peak in 2015 (graph 1). The province’s international exports have now surpassed their former peak of the early 2000s, just before the bursting of the technology bubble and the U.S. recession of 2001, which together caused significant damage in Quebec. While shipments to the United States are maintaining their momentum (graph 2), those to the rest of the world are being affected by the economic slowdown in Asia and flagging demand from Europe. As a result, the increase in total shipments abroad has been stalling in the past several months. What is the outlook for 2016?