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Desjardins Leading Index

The DLI Is Pushing Higher, Suggesting That the Quebec Economy Is on the Road to Recovery

June 3, 2024
Hélène Bégin
Principal Economist


  • The DLI is up for the third month in a row. The index rose 1.1% in March, its strongest gain in three years.
  • The recent upswing was driven by improvements in most of the economic indicators for each of its components. 
  • The housing component has moved into positive territory, with several indicators perking up, including those related to housing starts and existing home sales.
  • The DLI's household component recorded a third consecutive increase in March. Motor vehicle sales were up significantly and furniture sales rose in tandem with residential construction. Household confidence also trended upward, as employment among people ages 25 to 54 has stabilized in recent months.
  • The business component also ticked higher thanks primarily to SME confidence, which is starting to warm in Quebec.
  • With three consecutive months of gains, the DLI now seems to be on a definitive upward trajectory. After weakening for some time, most economic data now seem to be recovering, which is a good sign for the Quebec economy.


There are clear signs that the Quebec economy is on the road to recovery, and real GDP also seems to be headed in the same direction. After a few months of volatility due to strikes in the healthcare and education sectors, Quebec’s economy now looks to be on more solid ground. In fact, real GDP External link. went up 0.2% in February.

The DLI's rebound gives reason for optimism, especially now that Canadian interest rates are poised to start coming down. That said, rates are restrictively high at present. Posted 1-year and 5-year fixed mortgage rates are around 8.0% and 6.5% respectively. According to our forecasts External link., declining long-term bond yields could lead to a slight easing in fixed mortgage rates. Meanwhile, variable mortgage and personal line of credit rates will come down at the same pace as the Bank of Canada's key interest rate.


As the DLI's recent upswing suggests, Quebec's economic recovery should pick up speed by the end of the year. Consumer spending, the housing market and businesses will all get a boost from the much-anticipated interest rate cuts. 

The Desjardins Leading Index is a composite index that allows market players to monitor shifts in Quebec’s economy that may indicate an imminent slowdown, recession or recovery in the next six months or so. NOTE TO READERS: The letters k, M and B are used in texts, graphs and tables to refer to thousands, millions and billions respectively. IMPORTANT: This document is based on public information and may under no circumstances be used or construed as a commitment by Desjardins Group. While the information provided has been determined on the basis of data obtained from sources that are deemed to be reliable, Desjardins Group in no way warrants that the information is accurate or complete. The document is provided solely for information purposes and does not constitute an offer or solicitation for purchase or sale. Desjardins Group takes no responsibility for the consequences of any decision whatsoever made on the basis of the data contained herein and does not hereby undertake to provide any advice, notably in the area of investment services. Data on prices and margins is provided for information purposes and may be modified at any time based on such factors as market conditions. The past performances and projections expressed herein are no guarantee of future performance. Unless otherwise indicated, the opinions and forecasts contained herein are those of the document’s authors and do not represent the opinions of any other person or the official position of Desjardins Group.