Improved Economic Outlook for Victoria this Year and Next

OTTAWA, Sept. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - After three years of flat or stagnant increases, Victoria is positioned for economic growth of 1.4 per cent in 2015, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Autumn 2015.

"As a provincial capital, Victoria has struggled in the face of provincial government fiscal restraint. The local economy has grown little in recent years but things are looking up," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies. "The provincial government is in a stronger fiscal position, which bodes well for the outlook in Victoria's largest sectors: non-commercial services and public administration."

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Victoria's real GDP is expected to rise by 1.4 per cent in 2015 and a stronger 2.6 per cent in 2016.  
  • Victoria's manufacturing industry is expected to post stronger growth in 2015, led by work at the Victoria Shipyard.
  • Following two years of declines, employment in Victoria is forecast to increase 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.

Unfortunately, Victoria's public administration sector is not out of the woods yet. Output is on track to contract by 1.2 per cent this year, the sixth straight annual decline. But a recovery is finally in the cards for next year. In fact, we expect the sector to grow by 2.1 per cent in 2016. On the other hand, the non-commercial services sector, which includes health care and education, is bouncing back this year following a 2 per cent contraction in 2014. Output is expected to expand by 1.8 per cent in 2015 and by 1.9 per cent in 2016.

The expected improvement in the public sector will also help other areas of the local economy. Employment is expected to grow by 0.4 per cent this year, after falling in three of the past four years. This will help boost consumer confidence and, in turn, encourage retail spending.

Victoria's manufacturing sector has been a rare bright spot, experiencing healthy growth over the past four years. More of the same is expected this year, with output growth expected to reach a solid 7 per cent, thanks in particular to strong activity at the Victoria Shipyards. The export-oriented sector will also benefit from stronger U.S. demand and a lower Canadian dollar.

Victoria's economic outlook looks brighter in 2016 with anticipated growth of 2.6 per cent.

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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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; 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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