Manitoba continues to benefit from a well-diversified economy, says RBC



    TORONTO, July 3 /CNW/ - Manitoba will be among the provincial growth
leaders this year, with its economy expected to expand by 2.7 per cent for
2008, according to the latest provincial economic outlook released today by
RBC.
    "The province is enjoying the fruits of a well-diversified economy," said
Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "With solid
capital spending in several key projects, a stable and broad manufacturing
sector and strong labour market, Manitoba's economy is well-positioned for
growth over the next few years."
    Manitoba has a solid line-up of sizeable capital projects already
underway including the expansion of the Red River Floodway, enhancements to
the Winnipeg International Airport and the development of the Wuskwatim
hydroelectric dam. According to the Private and Public Investment Intentions
survey released earlier this year, Manitoba was expected to be the 2008
provincial leader in capital spending, with a planned increase of almost 20
per cent. These projects will also benefit the province's job market, as
employment growth is expected to surpass last year's 1.6 per cent advance. Job
creation will be further bolstered by the commodity boom, specifically in the
metals and grains sectors.
    Despite the strong Canadian dollar and high energy costs that have
broadly hurt the manufacturing sector across the country, Manitoba factories
are less exposed to the biggest trouble spots. For instance, the province's
transportation equipment industry is primarily focused on aircraft and public
transit buses where demand is holding up reasonably well unlike the sharp
downturn in the automotive sector that is hurting Ontario's economy.
    "A resilient manufacturing sector and continued commodities boom should
support strong employment and economic growth going forward into 2009," noted
Wright.
    The main theme of the Provincial Outlook continues to be the different
paths the Eastern and Western parts of the country are taking. Record-high
commodity prices and strong global demand for resources sustain unprecedented
prosperity in the Western provinces, while the strong Canadian dollar,
downturn in the U.S. economy and high energy prices continue to cause hardship
in key sectors in provinces east of Manitoba. Saskatchewan is projected to
lead all of the provinces in economic growth for both 2008 and 2009, followed
by Alberta, while Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario are expected to lag
the group this year, but should show some improvement next year.

    The RBC Economics Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to
economic growth, employment growth, unemployment rates, personal income
growth, retail sales, housing starts, and the Consumer Price Index.
    According to the report (available online as of 8 a.m. E.D.T., at
www.rbc.com/economics/market/pdf/provfcst.pdf), provincial forecast details
are as follows:

    
                    Real GDP           Housing starts         Retail sales

                                          Thousands
                  07    08    09        07    08    09        07    08    09
                  --    --    --        --    --    --        --    --    --
    NFLD.        9.1   0.2   1.3       2.6   2.6   2.0       8.9   6.0   2.0
    P.E.I.       2.0   1.2   1.6       0.8   0.7   0.6       7.7   4.5   3.7
    N.S.         1.6   2.0   2.4       4.8   4.7   4.0       4.2   5.5   4.5
    N.B.         1.6   2.0   2.5       4.2   4.2   3.4       5.7   4.6   4.0
    QUE.         2.4   1.0   2.3      48.6  47.1  40.0       4.6   4.3   4.4
    ONT.         2.1   0.7   2.2      68.1  68.7  59.3       3.9   4.4   4.5
    MAN.         3.3   2.7   2.7       5.7   5.9   4.5       8.8   8.5   7.0
    SASK.        2.8   3.7   3.8       6.0   6.6   4.5      13.0  12.0  11.0
    ALTA.        3.3   3.1   3.0      48.3  38.3  35.1       9.3   4.5   7.0
    B.C.         3.1   2.2   2.9      39.2  37.2  30.5       6.7   4.5   7.5
    CANADA       2.7   1.4   2.5       228   216   184       5.8   5.2   5.6


                   Employment                CPI


                  07    08    09        07    08    09
                  --    --    --        --    --    --
    NFLD.        0.6   2.0   0.5       1.5   2.5   1.4
    P.E.I.       1.0   1.3   0.3       1.8   3.2   1.5
    N.S.         1.3   1.0   1.9       1.9   3.0   1.6
    N.B.         2.1   1.6   1.0       1.9   1.8   1.5
    QUE.         2.3   1.4   1.3       1.6   2.2   1.4
    ONT.         1.6   1.5   1.3       1.8   2.0   1.5
    MAN.         1.6   2.1   1.7       2.0   2.0   1.5
    SASK.        2.1   2.4   2.3       2.8   3.4   2.6
    ALTA.        4.7   3.0   2.1       5.0   3.3   2.5
    B.C.         3.2   2.6   2.5       1.8   2.0   1.5
    CANADA       2.3   1.9   1.6       2.1   2.3   1.6
    





For further information:

For further information: Craig Wright, RBC Economics, (416) 974-7457;
Robert Hogue, RBC Economics, (416) 974-6192; Jackie Braden, RBC Media
Relations, (416) 974-2124


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