Economy Manufacturing

The latest GDP data shows a disconnect between resource-based economies and the rest of Canada. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

A new look at Statistics Canada economic numbers Tuesday shows Canada's economy is increasingly split into two groups — fast-growing areas with natural resources, and everybody else.

The data agency revealed numbers Tuesday that showed how economies in different parts of the country are drifting apart. 

Areas with large amounts of natural resource development such as Nunavut, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador all saw larger than average growth in 2013.

Newfoundland led all provinces with 7.9 per cent growth last year, a reversal from a 4.2 per cent decline the previous year.

Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and Nunavut all bested the national average growth rate of two per cent. But Ontario, Quebec, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia saw growth under two per cent. New Brunswick's economy was unchanged.

Alberta and Saskatchewan saw growth rates of 3.9 and 4.8 per cent, respectively, while the historical engines of Canada's economy, Ontario and Quebec, chugged their way to growth rates less than a third of that.

It's evidence that the gap between the haves and have-nots is becoming even more pronounced, Bank of Montreal economist Robert Kavcic said.

Last week, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz lamented that the recovery period had produced a "hot and not [hot] economy," but said he was hopeful the turnaround in non-energy exports was coming. Still, he said even non-energy producing regions had benefited from what has been hot in the economy — oil.

BMO's Kavcic also believes the gap will begin to close as a weaker loonie and stronger U.S. demand leads to more demand for manufactured exports from Ontario and Quebec.

The two per cent growth across Canada as a whole last year was slightly ahead of the 1.8 per cent pace seen in 2012.

With files from The Canadian Press