OTTAWA, Sept. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Economic growth in Hamilton is expected to slow to 1.5 per cent in 2015, down from 2.1 per cent the previous year, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Autumn 2015.
"The slowdown in Hamilton's economy is broad-based, as many sectors of the economy are expected to see weaker growth this year," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies. "Things look better for next year as an improved outlook for the construction and transportation and warehousing industries will support stronger growth of 2.2 per cent."
- Hamilton's real GDP is expected to expand by 1.5 per cent as most sectors are expected to post weaker growth this year.
- Economic growth is expected to be stronger in 2016 with a 2.2 per cent for 2016.
- The region's housing starts are expected to decline by 23 per cent this year.
- Vancouver will be the fastest growing metropolitan economy in the country this year, while long-standing economic leaders Calgary and Edmonton face recession.
A big drop of 23 per cent in housing starts will lead to slower output growth in finance, insurance, and real estate. At the same time modest job and income gains will limit growth in the wholesale and retail trade industry.
With solid non-residential construction activity offsetting weak housing starts, Hamilton's construction industry is projected to expand by 1.9 per cent this year. The non-residential construction sector will be active over the coming years as work continues on several projects tied to McMaster University, as well as the Hamilton Harbour cleanup. On the other hand, housing starts saw a sharp drop in the first quarter of this year and are on track to tumble by over 23 per cent in 2015, to their lowest level in six years.
On a positive side, Hamilton's manufacturing sector grew by a solid 3.9 per cent last year, aided by the opening of the Maple Leaf's meat processing plant. A lower Canadian dollar and strengthening U.S. economy will help Hamilton's manufacturing sector make further gains this year and next, with output growth projected to reach 1.9 per cent both this year and next.
The region's tourism related businesses such as food and lodging, which received a temporary lift from the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, will also benefit from the weaker Canadian dollar. Following a gain of 2 per cent in 2014, output growth in Hamilton's services sector is expected to cool to 1.4 per cent this year.
Of the 13 CMAs covered in the report, Vancouver will have the fastest growing metropolitan economy in 2015. Toronto, Winnipeg, Halifax, and Montréal round out the top five spots. These cities are all on track to post economic growth above 2 per cent. In contrast, long-standing economic leaders Calgary and Edmonton face recession.
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