Quebec recovering better from recession than Ontario, Alberta and B.C.: TD bank

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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MONTREAL - A new report says Quebec is - despite its economic challenges - emerging from the global recession in better shape than other big provinces like Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
Those other provinces may be considered Canada's economic heavy-hitters but, TD Bank Financial Group says, it's Quebec that has avoided the worst of the recession.
"A return to growth later this year will mark the end of a relatively short and weak recession in Quebec compared to the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s," TD chief economist Don Drummond said in a statement Tuesday.
The report, released Tuesday, indicates that Quebec's steady performance is due in part to its stable housing market, which propped up consumer confidence and household consumption.
Quebec's economy also fared better because it's no longer dependent on the automotive sector, relying more on relatively robust goods-producing industries like aerospace and pharmaceuticals, TD economists report.
Compared to western provinces, the report says Quebec is far less reliant on resources.
The financial group also said the province benefited from the billions it invested in infrastructure projects, many of which were already underway when the recession struck.
Over the course of the recession, TD estimates that Quebec's peak-to-trough output change will be -2.3 per cent, compared with -5.3 per cent for the rest of Canada.
But Drummond, a respected former federal Finance Department official, said that the longer-term challenges remain huge for Quebec.
Quebec will have to deal with a budget deficit, increased international competition and its aging workforce, he said.

Organizations: TD Bank Financial Group, Toronto-Dominion Bank

Geographic location: Quebec, Ontario, Alberta B.C. Canada MONTREAL British Columbia

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