The recovery in context: GDP per capita
When population growth is considered, Alberta’s journey back to its pre-pandemic level of economic output will not be over in 2022
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 14 November 2022 1 min read
Thursday’s Owl looked at how the provinces did and didn’t bounce back in 2021 in terms of annual growth in real gross domestic product (GDP).
Today’s Owl adds perspective to this by taking into account population growth.
At -9.1%, Alberta’s real GDP per capita* dropped the most of any province in 2020 while New Brunswick’s dropped the least at -3.4%. The national average was a drop of -6.1%.
Every province except Saskatchewan made up ground in 2021, but only four provinces (PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and BC) managed to catch up with and surpass their pre-pandemic level of real GDP per capita.
The country as a whole remained 1.9% below where it was in 2019 while Alberta’s real GDP per capita was 5.3% shy of its pre-pandemic level. Only Saskatchewan was in a deeper hole at -6.3%.
If Alberta’s real GDP in 2022 grows by the 5.0% we are forecasting, our GDP per capita will still be 2.8% lower than it was in 2019 while Canada’s real GDP per capita will be 1.4% higher.
*It’s important to note that, despite a number of tough years, Alberta still had the highest level of economic output per person of any province in 2021 at $75,510. The national average was $55,022.
Answer to the previous trivia question: The “gross” in gross domestic product means that “products are counted regardless of their subsequent use. A product can be used for consumption, for investment, or to replace an asset.” (Visit Worldometer’s “What is GDP?” page for more on the definition of gross domestic product).
Today’s trivia question: Which of Canada’s three northern territories has the largest population?