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Economic Viewpoint

The Diversifcation of Quebec’s Exports Does Not Prevent Them from Slowing Down

May 7, 2019
François Dupuis, Vice-President and Chief Economist
Mathieu D’Anjou, Deputy Chief Economist • Hélène Bégin, Senior Economist

Quebec benefited from the expansion period of its main trading partners in recent years. Shipments to the United States, the rest of Canada, Europe and Asia recorded solid growth. However, the recent economic difficulties in the country and the weakness of the European economy have already caused exports from Quebec to these two markets to slow in 2018. The slower rate of global real GDP will slow down Quebec’s exports even more this year. Quebec has the advantage of being the most diversified among the Canadian provinces in terms of types of exports; this situation has generally softened the impact of any upheaval. Despite having the broadest geographic diversification in shipments abroad in recent years, Quebec remains vulnerable to changes in the economic situation of its main customers. Even if two major trade agreements came into effect lately, i.e., one between Canada and Europe, and another one between Canada and roughly ten Asia-Pacific countries, the impact is difficult to assess at this time. What is certain is that these two agreements will help increase Quebec’s exports overseas in the coming years, resulting in even greater geographic diversification.