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Indicator: Gross domestic product

The forest industry contributed $25.8 billion (1.2%) to Canada’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018.

  • The forest industry’s GDP contracted by 1.0% in 2018 while the overall economy grew at 2.3%.
  • Weak demand decreased the real GDP for both wood products and pulp and paper manufacturing by 1.6% and 1.3%, respectively. Demand for wood products was strong in the first half of 2018, but declined sharply in the second half. Meanwhile, the long-term trend of declining demand for paper products continued through 2018.
  • Forestry’s and logging’s contribution to Canada’s real GDP increased slightly, by 1.0%, between 2017 and 2018.

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

Canadian forest industry's GDP, 2008–2018

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Graph summaries

Nominal GDP from the Canadian forest industry decreased from 2008 to 2009, increased from 2009 to 2010, decreased slightly from 2010 to 2011 and increased consistently from 2011 to present.

The forest industry’s annual real GDP decreased in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2018 and increased in all other years between 2008 and 2018 inclusively. Comparatively, the total annual real GDP for all industries decreased in 2008 and increased for the remaining years between 2008 and 2018 inclusively.

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 2008 and 2018.
Year Forestry and logging Wood product manufacturing Pulp and paper manufacturing
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 3.73 8.72 7.93
2015 3.99 8.96 8.58
2016 4.15 9.72 8.67
2017 4.19 10.40 9.34
2018 4.64 10.92 10.26
 
Table below displays the percentage of real GDP growth for the total forest industry and for the total of all industries for each year between 2008 and 2018.
Year Total all industries
(percent)
Total forest industry
(percent)
2008 0.7 -8.7
2009 -3.3 -18.8
2010 3.5 8.6
2011 3.3 1.3
2012 1.8 -1.5
2013 2.6 1.7
2014 2.8 4.0
2015 0.9 3.2
2016 1.1 1.8
2017 3.4 0.9
2018 2.3 -1.0

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 year.
  • The change in real GDP shows the growth of the forest sector, taking inflation into account. In other words, it represents real year-over-year growth. Analysts can use real GDP to gauge the trend of the Canadian forest sector’s contribution to the economy.

What is the outlook?

  • The decrease in demand for traditional paper products is expected to continue in 2019, albeit less drastically than in 2018.
  • Overall, the Canadian forest industry should grow in 2019. Stronger demand for Canadian lumber, stimulated by increased United States housing starts, and for pulp should support that growth. The growth is expected to overcome the negative impact of long-term threats to the fibre supply, such as pests and wildfire.

What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?

  • Montreal Process (MP): 6.1.a [Select language]
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): 8.1.1
Sources and information
  • Nominal GDP:
    • Statistics Canada. Table 36-10-0401-01 (formerly CANSIM 379-0029): Gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices, by industry. (accessed March 26, 2019).
      • For nominal GDP up to (and including) 2015. Statistics Canada. Tables 36-10-0434-01, 18-10-0032-01 and 18-10-0029-01 (formerly CANSIM 379-0031, 329-0077 and 329-0074, respectively). (accessed May 1, 2019).
      • Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service’s calculations for 2015–2018 nominal GDP are based on Statistics Canada’s Tables 36-10-0434-01, 18-10-0032-01 and 18-10-0029-01 (formerly CANSIM 379-0031, 329-0077 and 329-0074, respectively): GDP in 2012 constant prices and estimated industry price deflators indexed to 2010.
  • Real GDP:
    • Statistics Canada. Table 36-10-0434-01 (formerly CANSIM 379-0031): Gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices, by industry, monthly. (accessed May 1, 2019).
      • Real GDP in 2012 constant prices.
      • Real and nominal GDP vary such that real values are adjusted for inflation and nominal values are not. Therefore, real GDP is used to account for differences between time periods (e.g. comparing 2017 and 2018 GDP).
 

Table of contents — The State of Canada's Forests Report

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