OTTAWA, Sept. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Winnipeg will be among the top metropolitan economic performers in 2015, with real GDP forecast to rise 2.6 per cent, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Autumn 2015.
"Winnipeg's economy has expanded at a rate of 2 per cent or more for the last four years. This year, growth is expected to hit a seven-year high thanks to upswing in manufacturing activity and a rebound in non-residential construction," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies.
- Winnipeg's real GDP is forecast to rise 2.6 per cent in both 2015 and 2016, up from 2 per cent last year.
- The diversified manufacturing sector is a bright spot for Winnipeg's economy, with growth accelerating to 4.8 per cent this year.
- Infrastructure investment is providing a boost to construction activity.
- Vancouver will be the fastest growing metropolitan economy in the country this year, while long-standing economic leaders Calgary and Edmonton face recession.
A stronger U.S. economy and softer Canadian dollar are fuelling Winnipeg's manufacturing sector. In particular, Motor Coach Industries has signed a contract to deliver over 770 commuter coaches to New Jersey Transit over the next 6 years and New Flyer Industries has received transit bus orders from Orange County in California and Seattle's King County. Overall, output growth is expected to hit a solid 4.8 per cent in 2015, more than 2 percentage points higher than the national average.
Despite a dip in residential construction, local construction is forecast to expand by 2.3 per cent this year and 4 per cent in 2016, thanks to a healthy non-residential investment outlook, which includes the city's investment in public transportation infrastructure and a new railway underpass.
Winnipeg's services sector is also set to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2015, with all industries except for information and culture expected to see improvements. Transportation and warehousing will see the fastest growth, as it continues to benefit from the shipping requirements of a strong manufacturing sector.
Winnipeg's solid economic performance will spur an employment gain of 3.4 per cent this year, the largest since 1995. But even faster labour force growth will lift the unemployment rate from 5.8 per cent last year to 6.1 per cent in 2015.
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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