OTTAWA, Sept. 23, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Montréal's economy will advance by 2.1 per cent in 2015, led by the ongoing recovery in manufacturing and steady services growth, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Autumn 2015.
"Montréal's economic outlook is improving. In fact, economic growth over the next two years is expected to outpace the national average, a welcome change for an area whose growth has lagged the Canadian average in 22 of the past 25 years," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies.
- Montréal's real GDP growth is forecast to accelerate to 2.1 per cent in 2015 from 1.7 per cent in 2014. In 2016, the region's economy is should see an increase of 2.3 per cent.
- Montréal's manufacturing sector will continue to recover this year, with output growth of 2.3 per cent expected.
- Vancouver will be the fastest growing metropolitan economy in the country this year, while long-standing economic leaders Calgary and Edmonton face recession.
After struggling for well over a decade, Montréal's manufacturing sector rebounded in 2014 and is forecast to expand by 2.3 per cent this year. A weaker Canadian dollar and improvement in the U.S. economy are key factors behind this positive outlook. Hiring in the sector is also expected to pick over the next two years, but nowhere near enough to offset the jobs lost over the last decade.
Montreal's services sector is set to expand by 2.3 per cent in 2015, with all industries except for information and culture contributing to growth. The strongest gains this year will be in finance, insurance, and real estate, in personal services, and in wholesale and retail trade. On the other hand, provincial government austerity will limit growth in the non-commercial services sector, which includes publicly funded schools and hospitals, and in public administration.
Construction output is expected to expand by just 1.5 per cent this year as work on two massive infrastructure projects—the Champlain Bridge replacement and the Turcot Interchange—will be partly offset by weaker residential activity. High inventories of new apartments will drive developers to cut back on construction—multiple-unit starts are expected to drop by 24 per cent to 12,100 units this year.
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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