Economic growth accelerates in Nanaimo

OTTAWA, June 27, 2014 /CNW/ - After relatively weak growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) over the past three years, Nanaimo's economy will accelerate in 2014. The Conference Board of Canada's Mid-Sized Cities Outlook - 2014, expects Nanaimo's economic growth to reach 2.1 per cent this year.

"Nanaimo's economy has expanded only tepidly since the 2009 recession. But thanks to continued strength in the forestry sector and recoveries in manufacturing and construction, Nanaimo's economy will pick up steam this year," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies.


  • Economic growth in Nanaimo has averaged only 1.5 per cent per year over the last three years; stronger growth is expected this year and next.
  • Nanaimo's primary and utilities sector grew by an average of eight per cent per year between 2010 and 2013, much faster than British Columbia's 5.5. per cent average annual expansion over the same period.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, Nanaimo will add approximately 2,000 new residents, pushing the population over the 100,000 mark.

In contrast to many other Canadian cities, Nanaimo's goods-producing sector has outperformed its services-producing industries in recent years. Increases in goods sector output have been driven by strong gains in the primary and utilities sector, which includes the important forestry industry. Although output growth in the primary and utilities sector is expected to slow this year, it will still remain healthy and it will be accompanied by recoveries in manufacturing and construction.  

On the services side, growth has been hampered by weakness in finance, insurance and real estate and in public administration. A recovery in finance, insurance, and real estate is expected to begin this year, while public administration will continue to struggle. All in all, the city's services sector is forecast to expand by 1.8 per cent in 2014, up from 1.3 per cent in 2013.

The job gains that Nanaimo enjoyed over 2012 and 2013 cannot be sustained. Therefore, employment is expected to dip 1.2 per cent this year, before bouncing back in 2015.

The Mid-Sized Cities Outlook provides economic forecasts for eight cities that contributed financially to the research — Lethbridge, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, Brandon, and Nanaimo. It also includes historical economic and employment data for 46 mid-sized Canadian cities.


SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail:


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