TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - Continuing poor weather conditions had a
negative effect on the outlook for Manitoba's agricultural sector for
2011 and is expected to have a more negative impact on economic growth
in the province, according to the latest Provincial Outlook report
released today by RBC Economics. Despite this setback, RBC expects
Manitoba's GDP growth to slightly outpace the national average, as
strong mining and manufacturing activity drives the province's growth
rate to 2.8 per cent in 2011.
Manitoba experienced extremely wet soil conditions in the spring,
impairing the ability for farmers to seed crops. This was followed by
exceptionally dry and hot weather in July and August. These combined
weather conditions hampered the production of most grains and oilseeds
in the province, with the harvest likely to be down 20 per cent this
"Despite the negative impact that weather conditions have had on
Manitoba's economy, our numbers still show that Manitoba's growth is
above the national average," explained Craig Wright, senior
vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "Looking ahead, more
favourable growing conditions next year should improve agricultural
output in the province. We expect Manitoba to register GDP growth of
3.5 per cent in 2012."
Manitoba's economy continues to benefit from historically high prices
for base and precious metals. Prices for gold, nickel, copper and zinc
have increased 20 to 40 per cent over last year, which is supporting
revenue growth in the mining sector. The first half of 2011 also saw
solid and encouraging growth in the manufacturing sector, at a rate
close to 10 per cent.
"We're noticing a significant increase in manufacturing strength in
Manitoba, particularly in machinery and chemical production," said
Wright. "We expect better U.S. growth in the period ahead to help
sustain this strength."
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 http://www.rbc.com/newsroom/reports.html.
For further information:
Craig Wright, RBC Economics Research, (416) 974-7457
Paul Ferley, RBC Economics Research, (416) 974-7231
Elyse Lalonde, RBC Media Relations, (416) 974-8810