CAN (AB): Primary agriculture, food and beverage manufacturing generated $8.5 billion in 2018

Primary agriculture, food and beverage manufacturing generated $8.5 billion to the provincial economy of Alberta in 2018. “That number was relatively flat compared to the previous year,” explains Jean Marie Uwizeyimana, agri-food statistician with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF).

He says that the gross domestic product (GDP) for the province’s primary agriculture industry declined 3.3% to $5.2 billion, while food and beverage manufacturing industry rose 3.3% to $3.4 billion in 2018.

“The decline in primary agriculture GDP came from the crop production sub-sector, which fell 5.0% to $4.5 billion. The drop was largely attributed to poor weather, which affected canola crops last fall.”

Uwizeyimana says that with the legalization of cannabis in 2018, both legal and illegal sources contributed an estimated $313.9 million to the provincial GDP – an increase of 18.9% from 2017.

“While the legalization of cannabis has increased GDP in 2018, this level shift had no observable effect on the growth rate of the economy. Nationally, the cannabis sector was worth an estimated $6.6 billion in 2018, up 21.2% from 2017. British Columbia (B.C.) accounted for the largest share at $2.4 billion or 35.9%, followed by Québec at $2.1 billion or 32.2%, Ontario at $1.9 billion or 28.3%. Alberta ranked fourth, accounting for 4.8% of the national cannabis GDP.”

He adds that Alberta’s overall economy as measured by real GDP increased by 2.3% to $335.1 billion in 2018. “Alberta had the fourth highest economic growth, behind Prince Edward Island (PEI) at 2.6%, Québec at 2.5%, and B.C. at 2.4%. Nationally, the economy grew 2% to $1.9 trillion.”

Uwizeyimana notes that GDP is one of the primary indicators used to measure the performance of a country’s economy. “It represents the monetary value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period, and it is often referred to as the size of the economy. As it is collected in current dollars, comparing two periods requires making adjustments for inflation. Therefore, real GDP is GDP adjusted for inflation.”

“GDP is the most widely used measure of an economy’s output or production and is very important when comparing the performance of different jurisdictions.”

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