OTTAWA, March 13, 2018 /CNW/ - The economies of Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay will move forward sluggishly this year, with both forecast to grow by around 1 per cent in 2018, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Winter 2018.
"Sudbury's economy bounced back last year thanks to improved nickel prices. This year, the recovery will continue, but at a much slower pace," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, The Conference Board of Canada. "Meanwhile, Thunder Bay's economy will remain mired in modest growth."
- Greater Sudbury's economy will grow by 1.1. per cent this year, as mining and construction activity moderate.
- Modest economic growth will continue in Thunder Bay in 2018, with real GDP rising 1.0 per cent.
- Vancouver is forecast to be the fastest growing census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada this year, with real GDP forecast to grow by 2.7 per cent.
Sudbury's economy will grow by 1.1 per cent in 2018, down from a 2.1 per cent gain in 2017. The local primary and utilities sector, which includes mining activity, is set to cool considerably this year, following a 4.2 per cent expansion in 2017. However, this will be offset by an expected recovery in manufacturing. Underpinned by a modest uptick in housing starts and ongoing work on a major local road project, Sudbury's construction sector will continue to grow this year, albeit at a slower pace than last year. Higher new home construction should also help lift growth in finance, insurance, and real estate, which would be its first increase in five years. Local employment is set to rise 1.1 per cent in 2018, offsetting a decline last year and holding the unemployment rate relatively stable at 6.6 per cent. We expect Sudbury's population to remain flat over the forecast.
Modest economic growth will continue in Thunder Bay in 2018, with real GDP rising by 1.0 per cent. Local manufacturing activity is expected to pick up somewhat this year, in line with a below par Canadian dollar and healthy U.S. economy. In all, manufacturing output growth will improve from 0.2 per cent in 2017 to 1.2 per cent in 2018. Thunder Bay's services sector is set to expand at a similar pace to last year, with transportation and warehousing poised to post the fastest gain in this industry grouping. On the other hand, the city's construction sector will remain virtually flat this year and next. With the north-side waterfront makeover largely complete and new courthouse long finished, Thunder Bay appears to have no new major construction projects in its immediate future. Housing starts are forecast to fall this year too. Thunder Bay employment is forecast to remain flat over the next two years, after growing by over 2 per cent in 2017.
Released today, Metropolitan Outlook: Winter 2018, is The Conference Board of Canada's once-a-year analysis of 29 Canadian census metropolitan areas.
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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada
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