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Indicator: Secondary manufacturing

In 2018, the secondary wood and paper product industries in Canada generated over $5.8 billion in real gross domestic product (GDP). This represents a 3.2% decrease from 2017, and follows a 3.2% increase from 2016 to 2017. In 2018, real GDP from secondary manufacturing was 11% lower than 2008.

  • Secondary wood manufacturing decreased by 1.8% in 2018, while secondary paper manufacturing fell by 4.4%.
  • Secondary manufacturing accounted for 35% of the total contribution of forest product manufacturing to GDP in 2018, down slightly from 2017.

Lumber and paper are used in secondary wood and paper product manufacturing to make intermediate and final products, such as doors and envelopes.

Gross domestic product from primary and secondary wood and paper product industries, 2008–2018


Graph summary

Gross domestic product from primary paper products decreased substantially between 2008 and 2009, rose in 2010, further decreased to its lowest point in 2013, increased through 2015 and remained stable since. Gross domestic product from primary wood products decreased from 2008 to 2009, followed by a steady increase to a peak in 2017 after which it decreased slightly to 2018. Gross domestic product from secondary paper products peaked in 2008 and remained relatively stable with minor increases and decreases since. Gross domestic product from secondary wood products peaked in 2008, decreased from 2008 through 2009 and remained relatively stable with minor increases and decreases since.

Graph data
Table below displays the gross domestic product (in billions of dollars) from primary and secondary wood and paper product industries for each year between 2008 and 2018.
Year Primary paper Primary wood Secondary paper Secondary wood
2008 6.0 4.7 3.3 3.3
2009 4.5 3.9 3.0 2.7
2010 5.2 4.4 3.0 2.5
2011 5.0 4.4 2.9 2.7
2012 4.4 4.6 3.1 2.8
2013 3.9 5.1 3.2 2.9
2014 4.7 5.4 2.9 2.7
2015 4.8 5.6 3.1 2.8
2016 4.7 6.0 3.1 2.8
2017 4.7 6.2 3.3 2.8
2018 4.7 6.1 3.1 2.8

Why is this indicator important?

  • Secondary manufacturing of forest products generates additional employment and revenue, which in turn increases the forest industry’s overall contribution to the Canadian economy.
  • Secondary manufacturing helps balance changes in world markets because it is largely focused on domestic markets that tend to be more stable than the primary products geared to international demand.

What is the outlook?

  • Demand is expected to hold steady for secondary paper products as the North American economy enters a period of slower growth.
  • Demand is expected to decline slightly for secondary wood products as rising interest rates and stricter mortgage lending rules continue to affect the Canadian housing market. However, the strong labour market and associated consumer spending growth may soften this decline.
  • The Canadian and United States economies are expected to grow over the near term, albeit at slower rates than recent years. The outlook for secondary paper products is tempered by this slower growth. Both segments may be negatively affected by the increase in competition from low-cost international producers, and cooling in the domestic housing market will weaken demand for secondary wood products.

What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?

Sources and information

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

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