OTTAWA, Dec. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick should all see sound economic growth in the coming year, according to The Conference Board of Canada's fall Provincial Outlook: Autumn 2016.
"All three Maritime provincial economies are expected to perform better in the new year. This largely boils down to growth in the tourism, forestry, agriculture, and fishing sectors, as well as increasing exports to the U.S. and abroad boosted by a lower Canadian dollar and stronger growth south of the border," said Marie-Christine Bernard, Associate Director, Provincial Forecast.
- P.E.I. and Nova Scotia should see real GDP growth of 1.7 per cent in 2017.
- Growth in New Brunswick is projected at 1.4 per cent on average for 2017-18.
- With the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, all provinces will see their economy expand next year.
Nova Scotia's economy will continue running smoothly with growth of 1.5 per cent in 2016 and 1.7 per cent in 2017. A bright spot for the province is the manufacturing sector, which is projected to expand by 3.3 per cent next year, as Arctic patrol shipbuilding continues and foreign demand for exports remains healthy. Construction is also expected to continue to perform well as some major projects kick into high gear. On the other hand, dwindling natural gas production will weigh down the province's economic growth. With more stability in the economy, employment growth will resume with an estimated 1,700 net new jobs to be added in 2017 and another 3,500 expected in 2018. This, in turn, will support household spending.
After experiencing little economic growth this year, New Brunswick's real GDP is expected to grow by 1.4 per cent on average over the next two years. Some of the province's goods-producing sectors are currently mired in recession, but they are expected to bounce back. Despite the looming softwood lumber duties, strong building construction in the U.S. will support activity in the forestry sector where 8.2 per cent growth is expected in 2017. The province's construction sector will also see growth in 2017 with a gain of 6.2 per cent. After shedding another 1,000 jobs this year, the employment outlook is bright with 4,600 new jobs expected by the end of 2018. Despite gains in employment, recent HST increases announced in the most recent provincial budget are expected to lead to a 1 per cent decline in household expenditures and in a small contraction in retail sales in 2017.
Strong population growth in Prince Edward Island fuelled a boom in housing starts in 2016. This, in turn, boosted the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors. In addition to new residents flocking to the Island, the province remains a very popular destination for U.S. tourists as well as overseas travelers from Japan. Island exports will be the lifeblood of the provincial economy over the near term as demand from U.S. and Asian markets remains strong for seafood and potato products. After advancing by 1.5 per cent in 2016, the province's real GDP growth is expected to reach 1.7 per cent in 2017.
The Provincial Outlook: Autumn 2016 is available via the Conference Board's e-Library.
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