OTTAWA, Dec. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Following a slowdown in growth in 2014, due to lower commodity prices, the economic outlook for Canada's territories looks brighter for 2015, according to the Autumn 2014 edition of The Conference Board of Canada's Territorial Outlook.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the territories as a whole is expected to accelerate from 1.5 per cent in 2014 to 5.3 per cent next year. In 2016, economic growth is forecast to ease to 2.4 per cent.
"While the current financing environment is not conducive to rapid expansion of mining projects in the territories, prospects for the medium to long term are generally positive," said Marie-Christine Bernard, Associate Director, Provincial and Territorial Forecast. "The business case for many of the mining projects in the North in the medium to long term remains good; demand for minerals will grow as the world economy continues to claw its way back from the 2008-09 financial crisis and recession."
- Economic growth in the territories is forecast to accelerate to 5.3 per cent in 2015 due to stronger investment in the mining sector.
- Public sector projects will also stimulate construction growth over the next few years in all three territories.
- The medium to long term economic outlook is positive for the territories as a number of important projects will spur job creation across many sectors.
Nunavut's economy in 2015 is expected to grow by 6.8 per cent – up from the 1.9 per cent forecast for 2014. Over the next few years, Nunavut will see a number of mining projects advance to the construction stage as some projects, like the Mary River project, move into production and others progress. Smaller areas of the economy, such as the fishing industry, are also expected to grow in 2015.
The beginning of construction at the Victoria Gold's Eagle mine is expected to push real GDP growth in Yukon to 6.6 per cent in 2015, surpassing this year's forecast of 1.4 per cent. Mineral production, spurred by higher production at the Minto and Wolverine mines, is expected to grow modestly over 2015-16.
Construction work on several new mines and public investment, as well as growth in wholesale and retail trade and financial services, should drive growth in real GDP growth from 1.4 per cent in 2014 to 3.6 per cent in 2015. Stronger diamond production will help the Northwest Territories' economy, but prospects for more work on the Canol shale oil play have dimmed due to an exploration hiatus this winter.
The Territorial Outlook, published twice yearly, examines the economic and fiscal outlook for each of the territories, including output by industry, labour market conditions, and the demographic make-up. This forecast is funded through the Conference Board's Centre for the North.
The Centre's main purpose is to work with Aboriginal leaders, businesses, governments, communities, educational institutions, and other organizations to provide insights into how sustainable prosperity can be achieved in the North.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada