OTTAWA, July 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Sherbrooke, Saguenay and Trois-Rivières can expect to grow faster this year than in 2014, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Summer 2015.
"Economic growth in Quebec's medium-sized metropolitan economies has been soft over the past five years," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, The Conference Board of Canada. "Fortunately, we expect economic activity to improve modestly this year, although, downside risks to the outlook remain."
- Sherbrooke, Saguenay and Trois-Rivières all have modestly improved economic outlooks this year, with growth of real gross domestic product (GDP) forecast between 1 and 2 per cent.
- Among the 15 cities covered in the report, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Abbotsford-Mission and Moncton will boast the fastest growing economies this year.
- The weaker Canadian dollar and a solid U.S. economy are expected to foster a gradual recovery in many cities' manufacturing sectors this year.
After reaching only 1.2 per cent in 2014, economic growth in Sherbrooke is expected to accelerate to 2.1 per cent. Many of the ingredients are in place for stronger export growth, which bodes well for the local manufacturing sector. Solid job market activity will keep consumers spending and help fuel an increase in housing starts.
Saguenay's real GDP is expected to rise by 1.6 per cent in 2015, following three straight years of growth below 1 per cent. All services-producing industries except public administration are on track to grow this year. On the other hand, construction output is forecast to contract and manufacturing output is projected to remain fairly flat. Still, employment is expected to rebound this year, as almost 2,000 jobs will be added to the local economy.
For the first time since the shutdown of the Gentilly-2 nuclear reactor in late 2012, Trois-Rivières' economy is expected to post positive growth thanks to a rebound in manufacturing and stronger services sector activity. Real GDP is expected to rise by 1.1 per cent in 2015, although employment growth will be modest at 0.5 per cent.
Among the 15 cities covered in the report, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Abbotsford-Mission and Moncton will boast the fastest growing economies this year, while the economy of St. John's is expected to post the weakest growth.
The Conference Board of Canada will present the economic outlook for 22 Canadian cites at a live webinar titled, Medium and Small Cities Economic Outlook 2015: Mid-Sized and Top-Notch, on July 30, 2015 at 02:00 PM EDT.
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