Economic outlook improving in Maritime provinces

OTTAWA, Feb. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Following flat or little growth in 2014, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick can expect strong economic growth over the next two years, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Provincial Outlook-Winter 2015.

"The stronger U.S. economy and the lower Canadian dollar are going a long way to help boost the economies of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The weaker dollar will benefit manufacturers and help bolster exports," said Marie-Christine Bernard, Associate Director, Provincial Forecast.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick can expect economic growth above 2 per cent in 2015.
  • All three Maritime provinces are benefitting from a weaker loonie and solid growth in the U.S. economy.
  • British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario will be the economic growth leaders over the next two years.

 

Prince Edward Island's GDP is expected to expand by 2.6 per cent in 2015 and maintain that pace in 2016. The main factors behind the more upbeat forecast are improvements in residential investment and construction, as well as job creation. The province's manufacturing sector has experienced exceptional growth in the last few years and the sector will continue to prosper with the retreat of the Canadian dollar and strong growth in the U.S. economy. The retreat in the Canadian dollar and in gasoline prices will also help bolster tourism in PEI.

A rebound in Nova Scotia's construction and manufacturing sectors and sound growth in the services sector will help support a bright outlook for the province. The construction industry will be busy with several large projects, even after the expansion of the Halifax shipyard is completed. The manufacturing industry will benefit from increased investment, as well as strong growth in the U.S. economy. After little growth last year, overall real GDP is expected to grow by 2.3 per cent on average over 2015-16.

The vast improvement in the U.S. economy and the lower Canadian dollar will go a long way in helping to revive the bruised New Brunswick economy. Real GDP is forecast to grow 2.4 per cent in 2015 and expand at a similar pace in 2016. The forecast will be supported by a rebound in the goods-producing industries and decent gains in the service sector. A promising area for growth is the forestry sector. The government increased the allowable timber cuts by 20 per cent and J.D. Irving Ltd. is investing more than $500 million over the next two years to update pulp and paper mills. This should help the construction sector recover as well.

The Conference Board of Canada will be presenting, Atlantic Business Outlook, in Halifax on April 9, 2015.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Juline Ranger, Associate Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca or Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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