OTTAWA, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Edmonton and Calgary are forecast to be the fastest growing census metropolitan areas (CMAs)
in Canada - not only in 2012, but for the next four years, according to
The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook-Autumn 2012.
"Energy-related investment in Alberta is expected to stay vibrant
throughout the next four years. For instance, about $29-billion worth
of energy-related projects are now under way in the province, and
nearly $86-billion worth of projects are proposed for the future," said
Mario Lefebvre, Director, Centre for Municipal Studies.
"Other Western cities, including Saskatoon, Regina and Vancouver, are
expected to grow strongly in the years to come. Toronto's economic
performance is expected to rival that of its high-flying western
counterparts, and manufacturing sectors are showing signs of revival in
Montreal, Hamilton, Halifax and Winnipeg over the next few years..
However, growth in cities such as Ottawa, Quebec City and Victoria will
be affected by ongoing public sector restraint."
Changes in public policy flowing from political developments in specific
provinces will, of course, need to be factored into future economic
Coming off a 6.3 per cent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP)
in 2011, Edmonton's economy is forecast to expand by a still-robust 4.6
per cent this year. Economic growth is expected to come in at 3.8 per
cent in Calgary in 2012. For the rest of the forecast period (2013 to
2016), Calgary's average annual real GDP growth is expected to be 3.7
per cent, while Edmonton's economy is forecast to average growth of 3.5
per cent annually.
Saskatchewan cities are also poised to grow strongly in 2012 and beyond
- both Regina and Saskatoon are expected to be among the top
metropolitan economies over the next four years. Regina's economy will grow 3.7 per cent in 2012, lifted in part by the housing
sector, as housing starts are forecast to hit a 36-year high this year.
Saskatoon's economic growth will slow temporarily to 2.1 per cent, due to a
slowdown in the services sector. But employment will rebound following
a two-year pause, increasing by nearly 5 per cent, which will trim the
unemployment rate. Moreover, Saskatoon's housing starts are expected to
reach a 30-year high this year.
An ongoing post-recession recovery in manufacturing and strength in
construction will lead to an overall increase in real GDP of 3.1 per
cent in Vancouver in 2012. Over the next four years, Vancouver's economy will grow by 3.3
per cent annually, one of the fastest rates of growth in the country.
The Toronto economy is also benefitting from a continued recovery in the manufacturing sector, combined with a healthy housing market and a
number of nonresidential construction projects. All in all, overall
economic growth is expected to come in at 2.3 per cent this year. The
medium-term outlook for the Toronto CMA is rosier - the economy is
expected to grow by an average of 3.1 per cent annually for the next
four years, the fastest pace of expansion east of Saskatchewan.
Winnipeg's manufacturing sector is expected to expand for the first time since
2008. Combined with healthy gains in home construction, Winnipeg's real
GDP growth will accelerate from 1.3 per cent in 2011 to two per cent
Hamilton's GDP is forecast to expand by 2.5 per cent this year, thanks to
renewed demand for steel and growth in several other manufacturing
Québec City's GDP will grow by 2 per cent this year. Continued employment growth
and a relatively low unemployment rate remain attractive to newcomers,
supporting population growth and housing demand. Work on a new
NHL-sized arena recently began, which will boost construction output in
Montréal's manufacturing sector is poised for 2.6 per cent growth in 2012, its
best result since 2000. But a sluggish construction industry and slower
growth in the services sector will limit overall economic growth to 1.2
per cent in 2012.
Lower housing starts, combined with a modest increase in consumer
spending and fiscal restraint, will limit growth in Halifax's economy to 1.7 per cent this year.
Fiscal belt-tightening and job cutbacks in the public sector are muting
the outlook for two capital cities, Victoria and Ottawa-Gatineau. While
Victoria's goods sector is performing well, thanks to better results in
manufacturing and in the primary and utilities sector, it is not enough
to offset a sluggish services sector. As a result, Victoria's economic
growth will be limited to just 1.3 per cent this year.
With real GDP growth of one per cent in 2012, Ottawa-Gatineau's economy is forecast to have the smallest increase among the 13 cities
covered in this report. Ongoing fiscal restraint by the federal
government will keep growth at bay not only this year, but over the
next few years as well. By the time the federal government's
belt-tightening exercise comes to an end, the public administration's
share of the Ottawa-Gatineau economy will have edged down from 26 per
cent in 2011 to 24 per cent in 2016.
The Metropolitan Outlook, published quarterly, provides economic
Insights into 28 Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas.
SOURCE: CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448