After topping the country in 2007, St. John's growth is forecast to slow in 2008

    OTTAWA, Jan. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - After leading all 27 Canadian census
metropolitan areas (CMAs) in economic growth in 2007, St. John's will see
growth slow to just 1.9 per cent in 2008, according to the Conference Board's
Metropolitan Outlook-Winter 2008. This is the first time that 27 CMAs are
being ranked simultaneously in the Metropolitan Outlook.
    "St. John's enjoyed its second consecutive banner year in 2007, mostly
because of the booming offshore oil industry," said Mario Lefebvre, Director,
Centre for Municipal Studies.
    St. John's posted real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7.7 per
cent last year, first among the 27 CMAs covered in the Metropolitan Outlook.
But now that offshore oil production has peaked, output growth in all sectors
of the economy will slow to more normal rates in 2008.
    Saint John also enjoyed its second consecutive year of strong growth in
2007. At 3.6 per cent, Saint John tied with Edmonton for the sixth-fastest
growing economy in 2007. But growth will fall off to just 1.6 per cent in
2008, mostly because construction output will decline this year after two
years of double-digit growth.
    Halifax's economy grew by 2.5 per cent in 2007, largely on a strong
performance in the services sector. Continued strength in the services sector,
along with a turnaround in construction activity, will boost growth to 2.8 per
cent this year, moving it into the top 10 fastest growing metropolitan
economies in Canada.
    Nationally, the east-west economic disparity will narrow somewhat in
2008, but the five fastest-growing cities in Canada will still be west of
Ontario, led by Calgary with real GDP growth of 4.2 per cent.
    The Metropolitan Outlook, published quarterly, provides economic
forecasts for 27 Canadian CMAs, their province, and Canada. Once a year, the
Conference Board's new Centre for Municipal Studies will publish forecasts for
all 27 CMAs simultaneously.

For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations,  (613) 526-3090
ext.  448,

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