Growth in Waterloo-Guelph Area Will Exceed Rates in Both Ontario and Canada - BMO Capital Markets



    Area's economy still enjoys solid underpinnings, with unemployment below
    and incomes above provincial and national benchmarks

    KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON, July 22 /CNW/ - With youthful demographics,
strong educational institutions, and its diversified industrial mix, the area
encompassing the Waterloo Region and Guelph should perform well as the broader
North American economy remains slow, according to a new report from the BMO
Capital Markets Economics Department.
    "Waterloo-Guelph has developed a reputation for innovation," said Dr.
Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Its entrepreneurial
spirit has allowed it to reinvent itself over the years. Old companies close
their doors, but new ones are continually opening up.
    "Waterloo-Guelph is leading the charge from the old economy based on
traditional manufacturing to the new economy based on high technology
manufacturing and services," stated Dr. Cooper.
    The Waterloo Region (which includes Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge)
and Guelph have endured a couple of challenging years. The local economy has
grappled with the surge in the Canadian dollar, a pronounced drop in U.S. auto
demand, and record energy prices. Along with rising competition from China,
these forces have all weighed heavily on the Region's manufacturing base.
    Even so, the area's economy still enjoys solid underpinnings, with
unemployment below and incomes above the provincial and national benchmarks.
    "Through the second half of this year and into 2009, the area's economy
will continue to face the challenges of a high Canadian dollar and weak U.S.
demand," according to Dr. Cooper. "Nonetheless, the economy should see the
start of a turnaround next year, and then enter a period of strong growth by
2010. We expect real GDP growth of 0.5 per cent in 2008, but closer to 2 per
cent next year.
    "Once the current weakness passes, we expect growth in Waterloo-Guelph to
exceed both the Ontario and Canadian rates over the 2009-12 period," she said.
    The complete report can be found at www.bmocm.com/economics.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Peter Scott, Toronto,
PeterE.Scott@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Paul Gammal, Toronto,
paul.gammal@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Internet: www.bmo.com


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