Alberta to post strongest GDP growth; Manitoba and B.C. to surpass
Saskatchewan this year
OTTAWA, June 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Western Canada can expect the fastest
growing provincial economies in the country this year and again in
2015, with Alberta resuming its customary place at the top of the list. The near-term
outlook is looking increasingly positive for Manitoba and British Columbia, while Saskatchewan's growth will slow sharply, according to the
Conference Board's Provincial Outlook: Spring 2014.
"Economic prospects have brightened for several provinces, as the
expected strengthening in the U.S. economy will help boost real GDP
growth on this side of the border over the next two years," said Marie Christine Bernard, Associate Director, Provincial and Territorial Forecast. "Atlantic and
Central Canada are expected to gather more momentum in 2015, and even
stronger growth is expected in Western Canada."
• Alberta's economy is expected to grow by more than three per cent for
the fifth consecutive year.
• Saskatchewan's economic growth will slow but the province will continue
to have the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 4.3 per cent.
• After struggling for the last three years, Nova Scotia's economy will
expand by 2.3 per cent, the strongest outlook outside Western Canada.
Alberta's economy will grow by 3.5 per cent in 2014 — the fifth
consecutive year in which the economy's expansion comes in above the
three-per-cent level. Future growth will depend increasingly on exports
and consumer spending rather than investment.
Economic growth is set to pick up speed in British Columbia, with real
GDP forecast to gain 2.3 per cent this year. The forestry industry is
expected have another strong year, boosting output in wood products
manufacturing. The job market has started to improve and employment
growth is expected to do well over the near term.
Manitoba's increased public infrastructure spending is providing
stimulus to the economy, supporting growth of 2.1 per cent in 2014.
However, metal mining will see little growth and crop production is
expected to decline this year.
Saskatchewan, which has been a growth leader among the provinces in
recent years, is expected to see real GDP advance by just 0.8 per cent.
Potash prices are still low and production has been cut, while the
agriculture sector will feel the after-effects of the abundant crop of
2013. Yet Saskatchewan will continue to add jobs, and its unemployment
rate — 4.3 per cent — will continue to be the lowest of any province.
Both Ontario and Quebec are wrestling with large fiscal deficits that will limit the
ability of the provincial governments to add to economic output.
Ontario's real GDP growth will improve to 1.8 per cent as the U.S.
recovery picks up speed, but growth will be restrained by weak
investment. A loonie that is expected to hover around US$0.91 level
will benefit exporters in the province.
The Quebec economy will advance at a better pace in 2014 than in the
previous two years. Real GDP is forecast to increase by 1.7 per cent on
the back of stronger growth in household spending and an improvement in
net exports. Growth in government spending, which accounts for nearly a
quarter of Quebec's GDP, will stall this year.
After struggling for the last three years, Nova Scotia's economy will
expand by 2.3 per cent, fuelled largely by natural gas production from
the Deep Panuke offshore field. In addition, Irving Shipbuilding has
begun work on an upgrade to the Halifax shipyard to get it ready to
build navy combat ships starting in 2015.
New investment is boosting the forestry sector in New Brunswick. The
provincial labour market, which has been hemorrhaging jobs over the
last four years, is beginning to recover. Along with an improved
investment outlook, consumer demand should pick up, allowing real GDP
to advance by a modest 1.1 per cent this year
Newfoundland and Labrador's expansion is cooling. After leading all
provinces in real GDP growth last year at 7.9 per cent, Newfoundland
and Labrador's economy is expected to expand by 1.3 per cent in 2014.
The construction industry is expected to contract in the next two
years, due primarily to the completion of Vale's nickel-processing
facility and a drop in housing investment.
Prince Edward Island's economy is being weighed down by a large
contraction in the construction sector this year, which will limit
overall real GDP on the Island to an increase of 1.3 per cent in 2014.
Nationally, the Canadian economy is expected to grow by 2.1 per cent in
The Conference Board of Canada will host a series of webinars on the
Provincial Outlook starting Wednesday.
Ontario Business Outlook Webinar — Wednesday, June 18, 2 p.m. EDT.
Webinaire sur les perspectives d'affaires au Québec — Thursday, June 19 at 2 p.m. EDT.
British Columbia Business Outlook Webinar — Friday, June 20, at 2 p.m. EDT
Atlantic Canada Business Outlook Webinar — Tuesday, June 24, 2 p.m. EDT
Prairie Business Outlook Webinar (focusing on Manitoba and Saskatchewan) — Wednesday, June 25, 11 a.m.
Alberta Business Outlook Webinar — Thursday, June 26, at 1 p.m. EDT
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221