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  1. Quebec exports to jump 9% in 2015: EDC economist FRANÇOIS SHALOM, MONTREAL GAZETTE More from François Shalom, Montreal Gazette Published on: November 27, 2014Last Updated: November 27, 2014 8:00 AM EST The U.S. housing market will spur export growth in Quebec, says Peter Hall, chief economist of Export Development Canada The U.S. housing market will spur export growth in Quebec, says Peter Hall, chief economist of Export Development Canada AFP/Getty Images SHARE ADJUST COMMENT PRINT Smile wide, Quebec exporters. Peter Hall, chief economist of Export Development Canada, says that two key ingredients will brighten your lives for the next year or three: the U.S. economy and the weak Canadian dollar. “These two things are coming together to make this year and next very positive for Quebec exports,” Hall said in an interview. “The reason it’s a particularly good story is that Quebec does not have a very strong internal economy. Consumption is going to be weak because of high indebtedness levels.” The good part of the EDC forecast, made public Thursday, is that just as household debt is cutting into the consumption economy, the trade sector is taking over and is set to boom, compensating — and then some — for the spending shortfall. “So we’ve got to be the luckiest people on Earth,” Hall said. Traditional resource sectors like mining and forestry as well as aerospace will be key drivers of the export resurgence. And that resurgence will in turn be driven principally by the U.S. housing market, which has mounted a remarkable comeback from the ominous recession of 2008. “The rate of (U.S.) housing construction has doubled where it was during the crisis,” said Hall. “And the best is yet to come. They’re building now at the rate of 1 million (housing) units a year. But the economy itself is generating (demand for) 1.4 million new households every year. They’re 400,000 units a year behind where they need to be just to keep pace with basic demand.” “So the very minimum you can expect over the next two or three years of growth inside this market is 40 per cent.” “That’s very good news for Quebec lumber firms and for everything else that goes into houses being built — copper piping, wiring, 2-by-4s, asphalt, OSB (particle board used for flooring, roofing and walls) — you name it.” “And it doesn’t stop there. Once the house is completed, there’s all the stuff that goes into it; washers, dryers, stoves, fridges, floorings, furnishings.” Again, he noted, a major opportunity for metal producers, notably Quebec aluminum smelters. It all adds up to a projected eight-per-cent jump for Quebec exports this year and another nine per cent in 2015, he said. Aerospace exports will surge 10 per cent next year, thanks to the weak Canadian dollar and good demand internationally. “Quebec’s Bombardier is the major beneficiary of these positive international trends, and with their CSeries line expected to enter into service in late 2015, it will be a huge boon for Quebec’s aerospace industry for years to come,” said Hall. He praised Quebec’s comprehensive overhaul of government spending under Premier Philippe Couillard as vital to the future of the province’s economy. “It’s essential to ensuring competitiveness for the future. If you don’t have fiscal sustainability, it means a higher future tax liability and an uncertain policy environment. “We’ve long learned that this is very, very positive for the future economy. :thumbsup::thumbsup: