Indicator: Gross domestic product

The forest industry contributed over $23.1 billion (1.2%) to Canada’s nominal GDP in 2016.

  • The forest industry outperformed the overall Canadian economy in 2016, growing by 2.4% from 2015 while the Canadian economy grew by 1.4%.
  • Wood product manufacturing, which accounts for almost half of forest industry GDP, grew by over 6% (real GDP) from 2015 to 2016.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the total value of all final goods and services produced annually in a country. It can be thought of as the size of a country’s economy.

Canadian forest industry's GDP, 2006–2016
Graph displaying the contribution of three subsectors of the forest industry (wood product manufacturing, pulp and paper manufacturing, forestry and logging) to nominal GDP in billions of dollars for each year between 2006 and 2016.
Graph displaying the percentage of real GDP growth for the total forest industry and for the total of all industries for each year between 2006 and 2016.
Graph data
Table displays the contribution of three subsectors of the forest industry (wood product manufacturing, pulp and paper manufacturing, forestry and logging) to nominal GDP in billions for dollars of for each year between 2006 and 2016.
Year Forestry and logging Pulp and paper manufacturing Wood product manufacturing
2006 4.63 9.34 10.68
2007 4.46 9.70 9.30
2008 4.10 7.98 8.83
2009 3.50 6.11 7.71
2010 3.64 6.81 8.58
2011 3.85 6.53 8.18
2012 3.94 7.40 7.47
2013 3.39 8.79 7.42
2014 3.18 7.83 9.17
2015 3.49 8.55 9.95
2016 3.61 8.60 10.87
 
Table displays the percentage of real GDP growth for the total forest industry and for the total of all industries for each year between 2006 and 2016.
Year Total all industries Total forest industry
2006 2.7% -5.4%
2007 2.2% -6.3%
2008 0.7% -8.8%
2009 -3.3% -18.8%
2010 3.2% 8.7%
2011 3.3% 1.5%
2012 1.8% -0.9%
2013 2.4% 2.3%
2014 2.6% 2.2%
2015 1.1% 6.2%
2016 1.4% 2.4%

Why is this indicator important?

  • Contribution to nominal GDP is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the size and health of Canada’s forest industry compared with the size and health of other economic sectors in a financial year.
  • The change in real GDP shows the growth of the forest industry after inflation is factored out: real year-over-year growth. Real GDP allows analysts to gauge the trend of the Canadian forest industry’s contribution to the economy.

What is the outlook?

  • In the short term, the strong U.S. economy and housing market are expected to continue driving GDP growth in Canada’s forest industry, although this growth could be negatively impacted by the ongoing Canada–U.S. softwood lumber dispute.
  • Over the long term, fibre supply constraints and an ongoing decline in newsprint and paper demand are expected to be offset by growth in solid wood manufacturing.
Sources
Notes
  • Real GDP in 2007 constant prices.
  • Data from Statistics Canada’s new Natural Resources Satellite Account (NRSA) are a key source of information on the economic contribution of the forest sector in Canada and will be included in future releases of The State of Canada’s Forests report. The NRSA, the result of collaboration between Natural Resources Canada and Statistics Canada, is able to capture economic activity in forest industry segments that have traditionally been difficult to measure, such as wood furniture manufacturing. According to data from the NRSA, the forest sector directly accounted for $25.2 billion (or 1.3%) of Canada’s nominal GDP in 2016.