Healthy Growth for Winnipeg's Economy Over the Next Two Years

OTTAWA, Nov. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Winnipeg's economy will remain healthy over the next two years, with real GDP forecast to increase by 2.5 per cent in 2016 and a further 2.3 per cent in 2017, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Autumn 2016.

"Winnipeg's diverse economy continues to foster stable and solid growth, and generate a healthy number of new jobs," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, The Conference Board of Canada. "Ten-of-eleven industries are on track to contribute positively to economic growth this year, with specific bright spots including manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and transportation and warehousing."

Highlights

  • Winnipeg's real GDP is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent this year and a further 2.3 per cent in 2017.
  • After increasing at its fastest rate in 17 years in 2015, employment is poised to grow by a further 0.9 per cent this year and 2.1 per cent next year.
  • Vancouver will have the fastest-growing metropolitan economy this year and next, with growth of 4 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.

Buoyed by a lower Canadian dollar, moderate U.S. demand, and strength among transportation equipment builders, Winnipeg's manufacturing output is poised to advance 2 per cent in 2016 and a further 2.1 per cent in 2017. New Flyer Industries has won contracts to supply buses to Metro Vancouver's transit operator, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Meanwhile in the aerospace sector, Magellan Aerospace is partnering with Atlas Elektronik Canada to develop the rocket motor and warhead sections of the SeaSpider anti-torpedo torpedo. As well, General Electric is upgrading its airplane engine testing facility in Winnipeg.

Output in Winnipeg's services sector is forecast to rise 2.6 per cent this year and 2.4 per cent in 2017. This year's fastest growth is expected from wholesale and retail trade. Transportation and warehousing is another bright spot, as stronger manufacturing activity is anticipated to lead to growth greater than 3 per cent in each of 2016 and 2017. The outlook is also bright for the personal services sector, which is poised to benefit from a higher number of tourists, thanks to a lower Canadian dollar and a healthy U.S. consumer. Major sporting events, such as the NHL Heritage Classic held in October and the 2017 Canada Games coming next summer, are also boosting tourism activity.

Winnipeg's construction sector is also poised for growth, albeit at much slower rates than the double-digit gains it experienced over the last two years. The non-residential sector is expected to be the main driver of construction activity over the near term, as housing starts are on track to fall by 19.3 per cent this year, before inching up in 2017. Still, housing starts will remain well above their 20-year average.

After increasing at its fastest rate in 17 years in 2015, employment is poised to grow by a further 0.9 per cent this year and 2.1 per cent next year. In all, Winnipeg's economy is expected to create a total of over 26,000 jobs over the 2015-17 period. As such, the unemployment rate is forecast to fall from 6 per cent in 2015 to 5.7 per cent by 2017.

The Conference Board of Canada's senior forecasting team will present the outlooks for Winnipeg, Manitoba and Canada at the second annual Western Business Outlook Conference to be held in Winnipeg on November 24th, 2016.

Vancouver is expected to boast the fastest-growing metropolitan economy this year and next, among the 13 metro areas covered in this edition of the Metro Outlook. At the other end of the spectrum, the economies of Calgary and Edmonton are expected to contract for a second year in a row in 2016, before rebounding modestly next year.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

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

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