Reducing the growth in public spending will be hard

The following chart shows economic growth in Canada on a per capita basis during the ‘boom’ years of 1999 to 2008.  I put this chart together to illustrate an important point.  The government sector grew strongly during that decade but there are wide variances from province to province in the relationship between private and public sector GDP growth.  Predictably, AB, SK and NL grew public spending significantly faster than the national average over the period but that was in large part a response to the booming private sector economy.  New Brunswick, by contrast, grew its public sector spending in spite weak private sector GDP growth over the period.


GDP Per Capita Growth 1999-2008

Government Sector Rest of the Economy
Alberta 67% 112%
Saskatchewan 65% 127%
New Brunswick 61% 42%
Newfoundland and Labrador 58% 221%
Prince Edward Island 58% 45%
Nova Scotia 52% 50%
Manitoba 50% 54%
Canada 49% 52%
Ontario 47% 27%
Quebec 44% 37%
British Columbia 44% 54%

Source: Based on Statistics Canada CANSIM Table 381-0015 Provincial gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices in current dollars.

4 thoughts on “Reducing the growth in public spending will be hard

  1. Had a walk through the snow in downtown Fredericton this morning, public spending capital of New Brunswick. Many signs in windows: No to shale gas; no to highway tolls. We should re-name the place N

  2. Hi there,

    Finding your GDP Per Capita Growth 1999-2008 table really interesting and informative. Any chance you have an updated version that shows growth after 2008? In particular, I’m interested in NL and the role the private sector plays in economic development and growth.


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