New Brunswick's Economy Takes a Back Seat in How Canada Performs Report Card

New Brunswick's "D" grade is lowest among provinces and international peers

OTTAWA, May 15, 2014 /CNW/ - New Brunswick gets a "D" grade on overall economic performance among the 10 provinces and 16 countries ranked in The Conference Board of Canada's first-ever "How Canada Performs: Economy" report card that compares provinces and also rates them next to their international peers.

Released today, and building on previous "How Canada Performs" analyses, the Economy report card is the first of six to be produced over the next year on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance.

"The sluggish U.S. recovery has hurt export demand, and New Brunswick has also had a very weak domestic economy in recent years," said Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. "New Brunswick ranks last among the provinces and is in the company of struggling European economies such as Belgium, Finland, and France."

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New Brunswick is one of only two provinces with per capita income levels, after adjusting for inflation, that were below US$30,000 in 2013
  • New Brunswick attracts slightly more global investment than expected given the size of its economy.

New Brunswick's highest grades are "B"s on its inflation rate, which was less than one per cent in 2013, and inward greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI). Greenfield FDI is investment that expands an existing business or creates a new business, as opposed to a merger or acquisition. New Brunswick attracts slightly more global investment than expected given the size of its economy. In contrast, New Brunswick's outward greenfield FDI performance results in a "D-" grade.

Labour productivity stands out as an area for needed improvement in New Brunswick. Average labour productivity growth between 2008 and 2012 was low enough to warrant a "C" grade and was also below the Canada-wide average. Moreover, New Brunswick's labour productivity level is the second-lowest among the provinces and peer countries—only P.E.I fares worse.

New Brunswick also earns "C" grades on the unemployment rate, employment growth, and GDP growth.

New Brunswick gets a "D-" grades for income per capita. New Brunswick's income per capita is below all 16 countries and higher only than P.E.I. These two provinces are the only jurisdictions with per capita income levels, after adjusting for inflation, that were below US$30,000 in 2013.

The Conference Board will hold an Atlantic Canada Business Outlook Webinar on June 24, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. ADT.

How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to peer countries in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society.

This is the first year that provincial and territorial rankings are included in the analysis.

The Education and Skills report card will be released in June.

SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada

For further information:

Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221
E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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