OTTAWA, June 12, 2013 /CNW/ - Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to
be the runaway leader in economic growth among Canada's provinces this
year, according to the Conference Board of Canada's Provincial Outlook: Spring 2013.
Newfoundland and Labrador's real gross domestic product (GDP) fell by
4.8 per cent in 2012. But the provincial economy will make all of that
up and more in 2013, growing by an estimated six per cent this year.
Oil production is expected to rise by 12.5 per cent and private sector
investment will continue to climb to all-time highs. In 2014,
Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to lead all provinces again with
growth of 3.4 per cent.
Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are also expected to grow faster than
the national average of 1.8 per cent this year, but the economic risks
to these provinces are mounting. Some resource projects have been
postponed due to an uncertain outlook for commodity prices, higher
development costs and a lack of certainty about new pipeline
"The economic outlooks for provinces in 2013 are very uneven," said
Marie-Christine Bernard, Associate Director, Provincial Outlook. "While
the western provinces retain positive outlooks, their economies face
heightened risks. Economic prospects in Ontario, Quebec and the
Maritimes will be dampened by subdued business investment and fiscal
restraint among governments."
Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to generate the fastest economic
growth among the provinces in both 2013 and 2014.
Alberta's economy continues to be resilient in the face of uncertainty.
However if no progress is made on new pipeline approval in the next 12
months, energy investment could be affected and the province's economy
Only Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are expected to have
balanced budgets this fiscal year.
Both Alberta and Saskatchewan will enjoy above-average economic growth
in 2013. Alberta posted a phenomenal growth rate of 3.9 per cent in
2012, and Saskatchewan's economy will surge ahead by 3.8 per cent this
year. Both oil and potash production in Saskatchewan will expand
rapidly; the construction and manufacturing sectors will also advance
strongly. All this activity has spurred a hiring spree, which will
bring the latter province's unemployment rate to just over four per
cent this year.
After last year's nation-leading growth, Alberta's economy is forecast
to expand by 3.1 per cent this year. The looming risk for the
province's energy sector is the uncertainty on access to new pipelines
from Alberta to the U.S. and global markets. If no progress is made
within the next 12 months, resource investments could be severely
curtailed and the economy would take a hit.
Manitoba's economy is expected to expand at a steady annual average of
2.3 per cent over the next two years, despite restraint in public
spending. Metal mining and construction will do well, which will
bolster employment and consumer spending.
British Columbia's economy is expected to grow by just 1.6 per cent this
year, due to weak job creation, lower business investment and a
weakness in the housing resale market. However, the lull will be
temporary - real GDP growth is expected to exceed three per cent next
year. Forestry and mining will continue their robust growth.
Economic prospects remain muted in Ontario and Quebec - both are
expected to grow by 1.4 per cent in 2013. Business investment in both
provinces is expected to decline due to weaker housing and
non-residential construction. And both provincial governments continue
to pursue austerity programs that aim to restore balanced budgets. On
the bright side, with no further sales tax increases planned for this
year, household consumption in Quebec should pick up in 2013.
New natural gas production, along with a turnaround in the forestry and
manufacturing industries, will help Nova Scotia's economy pick up to
1.5 per cent growth this year.
New Brunswick's economy will return to growth in 2013, although at a
moderate pace of one per cent. Mining expansions - especially in potash
- will bolster growth in 2013 and beyond.
Prince Edward Island's economy will advance at a moderate pace over the
next two years - an average of 1.4 per cent annually.
The Provincial Outlook is published quarterly. The Conference Board conducts a separate Territorial Outlook twice-yearly.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221