Indicator: Gross domestic product

The forest industry contributed $24.6 billion (1.6%) to Canada’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017.

  • The forest industry GDP grew by 0.7% in real terms in 2017, underperforming the overall Canadian economy, which grew by 3.3%.
  • Canada’s wood product manufacturing and pulp and paper real GDP were positively driven by solid demand and strong prices, increasing by 2.2% and 1.5%, respectively. The contribution of forestry and logging to Canada’s real GDP decreased 3.6% between 2016 and 2017, likely due to decreased in-forest activity following forest fires and pest infestations.

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, 2007–2017


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 2007 and 2017.
Year Forestry and logging Wood product manufacturing Pulp and paper manufacturing
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 3.73 8.72 7.93
2015 4.01 9.41 8.47
2016 4.12 10.25 8.53
2017 4.32 11.40 8.90
Table displays the percentage of real GDP growth for the total forest industry and for the total of all industries for each year between 2007 and 2017.
Year Total all industries
Total forest industry
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 2.9 3.9
2015 1.1 4.7
2016 1.5 2.2
2017 3.3 0.7

Why is this indicator important?

  • Contribution to nominal GDP is one of the primary indicators used to compare the size and health of Canada’s forest industry 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; therefore it shows 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?

  • Strong demand for Canadian lumber and some pulp and paper products will contribute to forest industry GDP growth, but growth in 2018 is not expected to be as strong as in 2017.
  • In the long term, forest industry GDP could be negatively affected by trade disputes (e.g., the newsprint trade dispute with the United States) and the impacts of fires and pests on fibre supply.

What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?

Sources and information
  • Nominal GDP:
  • Real GDP:
    • Statistics Canada. CANSIM table 379-0031: Gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices, by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) (accessed April 11, 2018).
      • 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. 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 $27.6 billion (or 1.4%) of Canada’s nominal GDP in 2017.
      • Nominal and real GPD vary in that real values are adjusted for inflation whereas nominal values are not. Therefore, real GDP is used to account for differences between time periods (e.g., comparing 2016 and 2017 GDP).