Wednesday, June 25, 2014

First Quarter 2014 US GDP Growth Revised to -2.9%, What Does that Mean for Ontario?

So in the final revision, US GDP growth was revised to negative -2.9%. That's apparently the worst quarterly decline in a quarter that isn't part of a recession. We've been tracking the US number to try and help estimate the Ontario number (an estimate of which won't come out until August, conveniently well after the election).

Canadian GDP growth was only 1.2% in the first quarter. That's the only number I've heard quoted; does Canada do revisions? Given the fact that US GDP declined so much it isn't a huge surprise GDP growth was so low in Canada.

We've previously wondered if Ontario GDP growth in the first quarter would be negative, with this new revision of US GDP growth that likelihood has gone up. If we weren't lazy, we would try and collection GDP quarterly numbers, for Canada, the US and Ontario and try and make an estimator given Canadian and US numbers for the Ontario number.

Alberta growth probably wasn't that bad in the first quarter and Ontario also had bad weather like the US, so to get to 1.2% Canadian GDP growth, Ontario's pretty much has to be sub 1%, which given population growth of around 1% means negative GDP growth per quarter.

What does this mean going forward? There could be a snapback quarter in the second for the US and Ontario. However oil and hence gasoline is relatively high again at the end of the second quarter and will likely stay high for the rest of 2014. High oil prices aren't good for Ontario's economy obviously.

What about 2015? I can't think today's news bodes well for that.

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