Government of New Brunswick

New Brunswick is witnessing positive economic trends and successes that will position the province for further economic growth.

  • Over the 2011 to 2014 period, the New Brunswick economy shrank by 1.0 per cent. By comparison, economic growth reached a decade high in 2015 and has continued to expand since.
  • Statistics Canada reports real GDP growth of 1.9 per cent for 2017.
  • The New Brunswick economy is now 5.5 per cent larger than it was in 2014.
  • The improvement in 2017 is supported by a second consecutive year of population growth – reaching an all-time high in July of 759,655.
  • Employment grew for the first time in four years in 2017, with full-time employment increasing by 5,400.
  • The unemployment rate was 8.1 for 2017.
  • Growth in wages and salaries continued to strengthen, increasing 3.3 per cent for the year.
  • Housing starts jumped 26.4 per cent to 2,324 units in 2017. This marks the first increase in housing starts since 2010. Moncton and Saint John saw most pronounced gains.
  • Retail sales grew by 6.8 per cent for 2017, a pace of growth unsurpassed since 1999.
  • The manufacturing sales increased significantly by 15.8% in 2017, the highest growth rate since 2010.
  • New Brunswick saw the second highest annual home sales figures ever in 2017, approaching record levels of sales in 2007.
  • The province’s quality of life is also on the rise. The Conference Board of Canada has named New Brunswick the top ranked province in their society index, giving the province an A+ for life satisfaction. This report confirms what New Brunswickers already know: that this province is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
  • In 2018, real GDP growth is expected to surpass 1.0 per cent for the fourth consecutive year – a period of sustained growth not seen in more than a decade.
  • Employment is expected to show growth for a second consecutive year, thanks to increased food production and investments in the fisheries sector and in public sector infrastructure.  

The trends are proof of the steady gains in the economy but government recognizes that there is more to do.

The New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan is the provincial government’s plan to grow the economy and create job opportunities. It outlines how the government will mobilize to ensure there is a coordinated, complementary effort to improve New Brunswick’s economy and realize maximum benefits.

The plan focuses on five pillars of economic development:

  • People – strengthen the workforce;
  • Innovation - expand the capacity for the generation of ideas and innovation;
  • Capital - increase private-sector investment;
  • Infrastructure - foster investment from the public and private sector in strategic infrastructure; and
  • Agility - foster agility and nimbleness in the public sector and across the economy.

The Economic Growth Plan also outlines a number of key opportunities that are currently being pursued, including: smart grid, boosting new farmers, cybersecurity, blueberry development, home-based work, business services centres, marijuana, local food and beverage strategy, tourism, maple syrup and maple syrup tourism, Energy East and Sisson Molybdenum/Tungsten Mine.

For more information, visit the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan 2018 Update.

To see more economic and social indicators, visit the Department of Finance website.


Updated: August 2018

MEDIA CONTACT(S): Sarah Bustard, communications, Department of Finance, (506) 444-5026,