Toronto to be economic growth leader among Canadian metropolitan cities in 2017

Calgary and Edmonton on the road to recovery

OTTAWA, May 25, 2017 /CNW/ - Toronto's economy is expected to expand by 2.7 per cent in 2017, making it the growth leader among the 13 census metropolitan areas included in The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Spring 2017. Following two years of recession, Calgary and Edmonton's economies are on the road to recovery. Indeed, Edmonton's economic growth will tie Vancouver's for second place.

"Although economic growth is forecast to ease in 2017, Toronto will still be the metropolitan growth leader in Canada this year," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, The Conference Board of Canada. "Likewise, former leader, Vancouver, will see economic activity moderate this year, but it will maintain its place near the top of the growth rankings. Meanwhile, the tide is finally turning for Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, and Saskatoon, with all four metro areas emerging from recession this year."

Highlights

  • Toronto's real GDP growth is forecast to expand by 2.7 per cent in 2017 and a further 2.5 per cent in 2018.
  • Calgary and Edmonton's economies will rebound in line with gradually rising oil prices.
  • Former leader, Vancouver, will see growth ease, due in part to the cooling housing market.

Toronto's economy had a big start to the year, driven largely by a booming housing market. However, housing activity is expected to moderate as we move through the rest of the year, partly due to new measures introduced by the Ontario government to cool real estate price growth and improve affordability. Nonetheless, Toronto is forecast to lead the country in economic growth this year, setting the pace at 2.7 per cent.

Gradually rising oil prices will help pull the economies of Calgary and Edmonton out of recession this year. Calgary's economy is forecast to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2017, while Edmonton's economy is expected to expand by 2.4 per cent.

Vancouver's economic growth is forecast to slow to 2.4 per cent in 2017, but it will remain one of the fastest growing major metropolitan economies in Canada. At the centre of Vancouver's slower economic growth is the cooling housing market, which will limit output growth in two of the city's top performing industries—construction and finance, insurance and real estate.

Fuelled by the resumption in hiring in its all-important public administration sector and strong tourism activity, real GDP growth in Ottawa-Gatineau is forecast to reach 2.3 per cent in 2017, which would be the strongest gain since 2010.

Following growth of 2.4 per cent in 2016, Winnipeg's economy is expected to expand at a similar pace this year, with real GDP set to rise by 2.2 per cent. The manufacturing sector rebounded in 2016 and will grow at an even faster pace of 2.1 per cent this year. A similar rate of expansion is in the cards for the local construction sector.

Victoria's economy is forecast to advance at a healthy pace of 2.1 per cent this year, as moderating gains in the all-important public administration sector is offset by stronger growth in the private services sector.  

Hamilton's economy is forecast to expand at a steady pace of 2.0 per cent in both 2017 and 2018. The area's housing market has been red hot, caused partly by spillover demand from Toronto and other adjacent areas. As such, finance, insurance and real estate is poised to be one of the better performing industries this year.

Québec's two largest metropolitan economies continue to pick up speed and are expected to post stronger growth of 1.9 per cent this year. Montréal's economic improvement is being driven by major infrastructure investments and an accelerating manufacturing sector, while widespread gains across Québec City's services sector, including in real estate and tourism, is supporting stronger growth in the provincial capital.

Halifax's economy is projected to see stable growth of 1.8 per cent this year, as continued strength in manufacturing, particularly in the shipbuilding industry, counterbalances a small decline in construction activity.

The modest recovery in oil prices will also help pull the economies of Saskatoon and Regina out of recession this year, although a return to the rapid growth seen during the resources boom is not in the cards. Saskatoon's real GDP is forecast to rise by 1.6 per cent in 2017, while Regina's economy is set to expand by 1.5 per cent this year.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Natasha Jamieson, Communications Coordinator, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 307, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca; Juline Ranger, Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca

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