The Conference Board's first outlook for Moncton shows an economy in the midst of steady growth

www.conferenceboard.ca

MONCTON, NB, June 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Moncton's economy will grow by 2.1 per cent in 2012, and that pace is expected to accelerate in both 2013 and 2014, according to The Conference Board of Canada's first-ever Metropolitan Outlook for the Moncton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).

"Economic growth in 2012 will be fuelled by continued strength in manufacturing and a rebound in the services sector. In 2013 and beyond, a rebound in the construction sector will add further strength to the Moncton economy," said Mario Lefebvre, Director, Centre for Municipal Studies at The Conference Board of Canada.

Moncton will also continue its recent trend of growing faster than the provincial economy in each of the next five years. On average, Moncton's real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow about 0.5 percentage points faster than the New Brunswick economy as a whole annually through 2016.

The manufacturing sector has done very well over the past three years, increasing by an average of 9.2 per cent per year. While part of this growth was attributable to a rebound in demand following the global recession in 2008-09, it was also a testament to the diversity of the manufacturing sector in Moncton.

"Given its central location in the Atlantic region, its bilingual workforce, and its relatively low cost-of-living, Moncton has been able to attract a number of different types of manufacturers, including firms in high tech/gaming, paper products, building products, food and beverage, chemicals, and heavy equipment," said Lefebvre.

The manufacturing sector is expected to grow another 4.6 per cent this year and 4.1 per cent in 2013.  Strong income and employment growth in 2012 should help to boost the services sector as well. However, construction output in 2012 is expected to decline for the second year in a row despite an increase in housing starts, as non residential construction activity is set to decline this year.

As the construction sector begins to improve in 2013, overall GDP growth is expected to rise to 2.5 per cent and to 2.6 per cent in 2014.

This is the first time that the Metropolitan Outlook 2 publication from The Conference Board of Canada includes Moncton. This publication contains a detailed five-year economic forecast for 15 of Canada's census metropolitan areas (CMAs).

The Moncton CMA includes Moncton, Dieppe, Riverview, Memramcook, Coverdale, Salisbury, Hillsborough, Dorchester, Elgin, Saint-Paul and Fort Folly. The Moncton outlook will be updated twice a year.

Of the 15 small and medium-sized CMAs covered in this edition of the Metropolitan Outlook publication, two Ontario CMAs, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo and Oshawa, are clearly setting the pace in economic growth this year. Both are expected to grow by 3.3 per cent in 2012.

SOURCE CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA

For further information:

Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext.  448
E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca

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