OTTAWA, Aug. 10, 2016 /CNW/ - Abbotsford–Mission's real GDP is expected to grow steadily over the forecast, expanding by 2.5 per cent this year and by a further 2.8 per cent in 2017, according to The Conference Board of Canada's summer edition of the Metropolitan Outlook.
"Abbotsford–Mission will be among the fastest growing metropolitan economies over the next two years," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, The Conference Board of Canada. "Fuelled by strong housing starts, the construction industry is expected to be quite active this year and will be a key driver of Abbotsford-Mission's economy."
- Abbotsford-Mission's economy should grow by 2.5 per cent in 2016.
- Housing starts in the city are forecast to reach 960 units in 2016–an 18 per cent increase over last year.
- Employment is forecast to remain essentially flat over the next two years, following a big gain in 2015.
- Among the 15 metropolitan areas covered in the report, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Oshawa, and Abbotsford-Mission will have the fastest growing economies this year.
The affordability of housing in Abbotsford–Mission, especially relative to Vancouver, is a key factor behind the strong demand for new housing. Another factor is new highway infrastructure, such as the South Fraser Perimeter Highway and additional lanes on Highway 1, which has made commuting from Abbotsford–Mission much easier for residents. Accordingly, housing starts are forecast to reach an eight-year high of 960 units in 2016, which should help the city's overall construction sector rise by 6.2 per cent this year.
The outlook for the region's services sector is also bright, with output growth projected to increase by 2.5 per cent this year. Transportation and warehousing will lead the way, thanks in part to increased activity at the Abbotsford International Airport. Meanwhile, output in the finance, insurance, and real estate sector is expected to grow by 2.6 per cent this year, in line with healthy resale and new home markets.
At the same time, Abbotsford–Mission's manufacturing sector has experienced strong growth in recent years. In particular, Abbotsford–Mission's wood product manufacturing industry has benefited from higher demand for wood products from south of the border, generated by a strengthening U.S. housing market. Although local manufacturing activity is expected to cool, output growth is still forecast to come in at a solid 2.5 per cent this year. Abbotsford-Mission's primary and utilities sector, which includes the agriculture industry, will also see growth slow, as above-average temperatures and snowpack melt have increased the risk of lower crop yields.
Released today, Metropolitan Outlook: Summer 2016 is The Conference Board of Canada's analysis of 15 Canadian census metropolitan areas (CMAs).
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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada
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