OTTAWA, Sept. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Fuelled by strength in the manufacturing and construction sectors, Halifax's economy is expected to grow by 2.3 per cent this year. Next year looks even better, as real GDP growth is projected to accelerate to 3 per cent, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Autumn 2015.
"Halifax is benefiting from strong outlooks in both manufacturing and construction. Manufacturing will ramp up this year as production of new ships for the Royal Canadian Navy gets under way. Meanwhile, the construction sector is on track to post double-digit growth this year, thanks to an increase in new home construction and a host of non-residential projects," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies.
- Halifax's economy is expected to grow by 2.3 per cent this year, helped by strength in the manufacturing and construction sectors.
- The region's economy is forecast to increase another 3 per cent in 2016.
- Halifax's construction sector is on track to grow by 11.6 in 2015.
- Vancouver will be the fastest growing metropolitan economy in the country this year, while long-standing economic leaders Calgary and Edmonton face recession.
The manufacturing sector's outlook is bright because production of several new Arctic patrol ships has started at the Halifax Shipyard, part of a $26 billion multi-year contract for the Royal Canadian Navy. In fact, manufacturing output is expected to grow by a healthy 6.7 per cent this year and 10 per cent next year.
Halifax's non-residential construction sector has been busy with several projects in recent years, including the $300 million expansion of the Halifax Shipyard, new buildings and renovations at Dalhousie University, and several multi-use buildings. On the residential side, housing starts are expected to climb to 1,840 units this year from 1,760 in 2014. All in all, construction output is set to increase by 11.6 per cent this year.
The outlook is not as rosy for the area's resources, agriculture and utilities sector, as natural declines at the Deep Panuke and Sable Island offshore wells will lead to drops in output over the next two years. The sector is expected to shrink by 8.7 per cent this year and by a further 0.9 per cent in 2016. On a positive note, despite lower oil prices, Shell and BP have been continuing exploratory work off the province's coast.
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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