TORONTO, March 12, 2015 /CNW/ - The pace of growth in Manitoba is
expected to accelerate in 2015 thanks in large part to expected
advances in export markets, according to the latest RBC Economics Provincial Outlook released today. RBC forecasts real GDP growth for Manitoba at 2.8 per
cent in 2015, up from an estimated 1.8 per cent growth rate for 2014.
RBC believes Manitoba's pace of growth will be sustained at 2.8 per
cent in 2016.
"Rising U.S. demand, enhanced by a weaker Canadian dollar, will play a
central role in boosting Manitoba's economic growth," said Craig
Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "Provincial
activity should also contribute, as we expect household and business
spending to be stimulated by lower energy costs associated with the
drop in global oil prices."
On the surface, trade data showing the value of exports declining 8.0
per cent in the fourth quarter following double-digit declines in the
previous two quarters is not encouraging. However, some of this is
likely attributable to lower energy and non-energy commodity prices and
the winding down of agricultural-related exports following the abundant
harvest in 2013.
"Excluding the energy and agricultural exports components, export growth
in the fourth quarter of 2014 was a much stronger 5.6 per cent on a
year-over-year basis," added Wright. "What's even more promising is
that this measure of exports rose 6.5 per cent in 2014, following
relatively flat activity in the previous two years."
These export gains are translating into strengthening manufacturing
activity. Nominal manufacturing sales growth rose over 3 per cent in
2014 after flat activity in 2013. RBC expects manufacturing will
continue to provide support to growth in Manitoba in 2015 and 2016,
with the fallout from weak oil prices of a strengthening U.S. economy
and a weaker Canadian dollar providing continued support to exports.
Also providing optimism about growth the growth outlook for Manitoba are
recent indications of strengthening employment. After declining
employment over the first half of 2014, on a year-over-year basis,
employment inched higher in Q3 and rose a solid 2 per cent in Q4, with
tentative evidence of this strength persisting into 2015.
The RBC Economics Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to
economic growth, employment growth, unemployment rates, retail sales,
housing starts and consumer price indices. The full report and
provincial details are available online as of 8 a.m. ET today at rbc.com/economics/economic-reports/provincial-economic-forecasts.html.
For further information:
Craig Wright, RBC Economics Research, 416-974-7457
Paul Ferley, RBC Economics Research, 416-974-7231
Elyse Lalonde, Communications, RBC Capital Markets, 416-842-5635