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Metropolitan Economies Rebound Strongly Out Of Recession, But Growth Expected To Slow In 2011

Thanks to recoveries in manufacturing, construction and retail trade in the first half of 2010, Toronto and Hamilton will have the fastest growing economies this year among the 13 Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) covered in The Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook – Autumn 2010.
Ottawa, September 22 — Thanks to recoveries in manufacturing, construction and retail trade in the first half of 2010, Toronto and Hamilton will have the fastest growing economies this year among the 13 Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) covered in The Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook – Autumn 2010.

“Most metropolitan economies enjoyed strong growth in the first half of 2010 typical of recoveries that follow a recession,” said Mario Lefebvre, Director of the Conference Board’s Centre for Municipal Studies. “Economic growth will continue at a more moderate pace over the remainder of this year and next.”

Following a 2.3 per cent decline in real gross domestic product (GDP) last year, Toronto’s economy will bounce back with growth of 4.7 per cent in 2010. Manufacturing output, which had been declining since 2005, is expected to post double-digit growth in 2010. At the same time, the city’s construction sector has benefited from government stimulus spending and strong housing starts. Retail sales, which posted a rare decline last year, are on track for solid growth this year.

Hamilton’s economy is set to expand by 4.5 per cent in 2010, its strongest gain in ten years. The manufacturing sector is expected to grow in 2010, for the first time in eight years. In addition, a big rebound in housing starts earlier this year provided a lift to the area’s construction industry. The recovery has also prompted local consumers to open their wallets again.

Rebounds in manufacturing and the service-producing industries underpin expected growth of 4.5 per cent in Saskatoon’s real GDP this year. A very active labour market in Saskatoon will continue to attract new migrants, bolstering population growth and housing starts.

Vancouver’s economy is on track to expand by 4.3 per cent in 2010. Improved domestic demand has boosted output among service-producing industries, while vigorous construction activity is leading the way in a rebounding goods sector.

Robust housing demand earlier in the year, stronger retail activity, and a recovery in manufacturing—driven by the province’s energy sector—will help lift Edmonton’s economy by 3.8 per cent this year.

Strong consumer demand will help Ottawa–Gatineau’s GDP increase by 3.7 per cent this year, its fastest rate of growth in ten years. However, the economy is expected to slow next year, as the federal government’s departmental spending freeze restricts growth in the public administration sector.

Renewed growth in the manufacturing industry and in most services sectors will help lift Regina’s economy by 3.5 per cent in 2010, recouping last year’s three per cent decline.

Coming off a 4.5 per cent decrease in 2009, real GDP in Calgary is forecast to rise by 3.5 per cent this year. The recovery is being fueled by rebounds in manufacturing, construction and retail trade, along with continued growth in health care, education and public administration.

Québec City had one of the better-performing metropolitan economies in Canada in 2009, although growth was flat. This year, a recovering manufacturing sector, along with stronger growth in construction and most services-producing industries, will support a 3.4 per cent increase in Québec City’s real GDP.

Victoria’s economy will grow by 3.3 per cent in 2010, as renewed domestic demand boosts activity in the construction industry and in the overall services sector.

Recoveries in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, as well as a strong increase in construction output, will drive growth of 3.2 per cent in Montréal’s economy this year.

Halifax is also forecast to grow by 3.2 per cent in 2010, thanks to widespread gains across most sectors of the economy.

Following last year’s mild downturn, Winnipeg’s real GDP is slated to rise by 2.4 per cent in 2010, thanks to a stronger services sector and a recovering manufacturing industry.

The Metropolitan Outlook, published quarterly, provides economic forecasts for 27 Canadian CMAs, their provinces, and Canada.

For more information contact

Corporate Communications
613-526-3280
corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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