Ontario exports to decline in 2008, says EDC

    LONDON, ON, Nov. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Ontario's export growth is expected to
decline again in 2008 following a year of growth, according to a provincial
export outlook by Export Development Canada (EDC). Ontario's exports are
expected to increase 2.4 per cent in 2007, driven, in large part, by decent
gains in the metals and chemicals sectors, before declining by 0.7 per cent in
2008 as US and global demand slow and as commodity prices weaken.
    "While the manufacturing sector continues to struggle, the metals
industry helped to offset the weakness because it's riding a wave of strong
global demand and high commodity prices," said Stephen Poloz, Senior
Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Economist. "The industrial goods
sector, accounting for 27 per cent of Ontario's' export picture, was the main
engine of Ontario's growth in 2007, in addition to strong transportation and
pharmaceutical sector performance."
    Auto exports (passenger cars, auto parts and trucks) represent Ontario's
largest export sector, accounting for 39.7 per cent of total exports. As the
Detroit Three continue to lose market share and US auto sales drop to a 9-year
low in 2007, passenger vehicle exports fell 6.2 per cent in 2007. The startup
of Toyota's new facility in Woodstock will provide a welcome boost in 2008,
but even so, exports will only just maintain the 2008 pace. In spite of
intense foreign competition, auto parts exports are forecast to rise 1.9 per
cent in 2008, following a 1.4 per cent tumble in 2007. Although heavy truck
exports are expected to drop by 33 per cent in 2007, the corresponding pent-up
demand will see shipments partially recover in 2008 with growth of 8.2 per
    With foreign shipments on track to grow 18 per cent in 2007, the
industrial sector will be the largest contributor to the province's export
growth this year. In particular, export of metals and metals manufacturing are
expected to expand 24 per cent in 2007, with most of the growth coming from
the mining sector as strong global demand and high commodity prices continue.
However, EDC Economics expects commodity prices to retreat through 2008,
leading industrial goods exports to a decline of 7.2 per cent in 2008.
    Nationally, Canadian economic growth is forecast to remain stable at
2.3 per cent in 2007, and 2.6 per cent in 2008. Key price gains in commodities
have put Canadian exports on track to increase by 3.7 per cent in 2007, but
the impact of weaker U.S. and global demand will have the export growth rate
more than halved to 1.5 per cent in 2008. Internationally, EDC is forecasting
a 4.9 per cent growth rate in 2007, and 4.5 per cent in 2008. EDC's Global
Export Forecast is available at http://www.edc.ca/gef.

    EDC is Canada's export credit agency, offering innovative commercial
solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international
business. EDC's knowledge and partnerships are used by 6,400 Canadian
companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year.
EDC is financially self-sustaining and is a recognized leader in financial
reporting, economic analysis and has been recognize as one of Canada's Top 100
Employers for seven consecutive years.

For further information:

For further information: Phil Taylor, EDC Public Affairs, (613)
598-2904, ptaylor@edc.ca

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