December 21, 2005
Western Canadian cities poised to repeat growth
Conference Board says Ontario will see ‘smodest gains’ in 2006 Outlook
Canada’s western cities will have the best growth in 2006 – just as they did in 2005 says the Conference Board of Canada.
In its Outlook report it says, Vancouver will lead all Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2006, posting an expected gain of four per cent. The Metropolitan Outlook, published quarterly, provides economic insights into 27 CMAs, the provinces, and Canada.
Ontario cities will post their second consecutive year of modest growth in 2006 while projects like the oil sands and the Vancouver Olympics will continue to drive growth in the west.
In 2005, western Canada boasted eight of the nine fastest-growing metropolitan economies, led by Edmonton. In 2006, four of the top five are expected to be in the west, said Mario Lefebvre, Director, Metropolitan Outlook Service.
Thanks to Olympic-related activity, another year of exceptional growth is expected in the construction sector in 2006, paving the way for Vancouver to have the fastest growing economy in Canada next year. Almost 31,000 new jobs are expected to be created in Vancouver in 2006,
Calgary’s real GDP is expected to grow by 3.8 per cent in 2006, a slightly slower pace of activity than in 2005.
Strong non-residential construction and services sector activity will support employment growth and, in turn, domestic demand.
In central Canada and the east, however, things aren’t as robust but they are getting better.
“The manufacturing sectors in most of Ontario’s cities faced a difficult year in 2005. Fortunately, the outlook for this key sector is brighter in 2006, meaning that job creation should rebound,” said Lefebvre.
After struggling in 2005, Toronto and Ottawa-Gatineau will be among the fastest-growing CMAs in Canada in 2006, posting GDP growth of 3.7 and 2.9 per cent respectively.
Stronger demand for steel is expected to support Hamilton’s key manufacturing sector in 2006. The contruction and services sector will also contribute to real GDP growth of 2.8 per cent next year, allowing employment to bounce back.
The manufacturing and construction sectors in St. Catharines-Niagara will rebound in 2006. The CMA can expect growth of 2.6 per cent next year.
Real GDP growth in Sudbury will increase by 1.9 per cent in 2006, thanks to a rebound in the services sector and continued robust demand for nickel. The rate seems modest but it’s Sudbury’s fastest pace of economic expansion in six years.
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