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Bright spots in some cities despite lackluster GDP growth for Canada


Bright spots in some cities despite lackluster GDP growth for Canada

OTTAWA, August 1, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Despite real GDP growth of just 1.4 per cent projected in Canada for 2019, some cities are showing strength in certain sectors, contributing to one of the strongest jobs gains on record. Canada-wide. These figures are the latest in the Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook II released today. The outlook report provides detailed economic insights for 16 Canadian Metropolitan Area (CMA) economies.

“We found many of the metropolitan areas are boasting low unemployment rates” says Alan Arcand, Lead Researcher and Associate Director with the Board’s Centre for Municipal Studies. “While this is helping to drive up wage growth, it also raises the issue of labour shortages” he adds.

Another common theme throughout the report is the ongoing trade uncertainty that continues to loom over export-oriented manufacturing industries. “Key sectors in many of the report’s metro areas are showing only modest growth as a result of trade tensions”, adds Arcand. This is expected to persist as Canada and the United States have yet to ratify the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

The report offers economic insights for the following CMAs: St. John’s, Moncton, Saint John, Saguenay, Trois‑Rivières, Sherbrooke, Kingston, Oshawa, St. Catharines–Niagara, London, Windsor, Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo, Guelph, Greater Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Abbotsford–Mission.

High-level findings:

  • An increase in offshore oil production boosts output in the primary and utilities sector in St. John’s in 2019; real GDP will expand by 4.0 per cent—the fastest growth of any major Canadian metropolitan area.
  • Abbotsford–Mission, Guelph, and Sherbrooke will post solid economic growth of 2.9 per cent, 2.5 per cent, and 2.1 per cent, respectively, this year. Among this report’s 16 metro areas, the 2019 jobless rate will be lowest in Sherbrooke.
  • Windsor, Oshawa, Kingston, Trois-Rivières, Moncton, London, Kitchener– Cambridge–Waterloo, Saint John, Saguenay, Greater Sudbury, and St. Catharines–Niagara will all see more moderate economic growth of 2.0 per cent or less in 2019.
  • Cooling growth in manufacturing, construction, and transportation and warehousing will limit Thunder Bay’s real GDP growth to 0.9 per cent in 2019.


The Conference Board of Canada is Canada’s foremost independent, non-partisan, and evidenced-based applied research organization.  We equip leaders and decision-makers with the economic reports, custom research, data, networks and events they need to solve our country’s most pressing challenges. Our focus areas include Canadian Economics, Energy & Environment, Innovation & Technology, Immigration and more. We stand at the intersection of research and policy, where insists meet impact.

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