Slower but still solid economic growth on tap for Abbotsford-Mission in 2017

OTTAWA, Aug. 3, 2017 /CNW/ - Although Abbotsford-Mission's pace of economic growth is anticipated to ease to 2.3 per cent this year, it will still manage a top-three performance among the 15 medium-sized Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Summer 2017.

"Abbotsford-Mission's economy is expected to expand more slowly, in line with the provincial economy this year. However, growth is still forecast to be solid thanks to strong performances in manufacturing and construction," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, The Conference Board of Canada. "The finance, insurance and real estate industry will also perform well this year and next as prospective Metro Vancouver homebuyers take advantage of Abbotsford-Mission's relative affordability."

 Highlights

  • Abbotsford-Mission's real GDP is expected to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2017.
  • The manufacturing industry is anticipated to be the CMA's fastest-growing industry in 2017 thanks to a below-par Canadian dollar and a healthy U.S. economy.
  • Among the 15 medium-sized Canadian cities covered in the report, Oshawa will have the fastest growing economy this year.

Abbotsford-Mission's manufacturing industry expanded by 9.0 per cent last year, marking its largest annual gain since 2000. While the sector is anticipated to be the region's top performer again in 2017, its growth is expected to moderate due in part to new softwood lumber duties imposed by the United States. Expansion will nonetheless remain brisk at 3.4 per cent this year and 2.8 per cent in 2018.

The metro area's construction sector output is also forecast to make healthy gains this year thanks to solid residential and non-residential building activity. But like manufacturing, the pace of growth is expected to slow as several key projects wind down, including the $748 million upgrade to the Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse.

Abbotsford-Mission's aggregate services output has grown at a solid annual average rate of 2.1 per cent over the last five years. Steady gains are anticipated to continue as the sector expands by 2.1 per cent this year and 2.2 per cent in 2018. The transportation and warehousing industry will lead the way with healthy growth of 3.2 per cent thanks to higher demand from a busy goods sector. Meanwhile, the business services sector, which includes professional services like accounting, engineering, and legal services, is expected to make output gains of 2.8 per cent this year and 2.4 per cent in 2018.

We expect the region to add close to 3,600 new jobs over 2017-18, following stagnant gains last year. This should help drive the unemployment rate down from 6.5 per cent in 2016 to 5.6 per cent by next year.

The Metropolitan Outlook: Summer 2017 is The Conference Board of Canada's analysis of 15 medium-sized Canadian census metropolitan areas (CMAs). Alan Arcand will present detailed findings from this report at a live webinar on August 31, 2017 at 11:00 AM EDT.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca, or, Juline Ranger, Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca

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