The St. John’s economy has struggled mightily in recent years, but it is poised to be a growth leader in 2018, as increased production at the Hebron offshore oil field drives real GDP growth of 2.5 per cent. Abbotsford–Mission and Moncton are the only other two cities in Book 2 of the Metropolitan Outlook that will see economic growth accelerate this year, with the former expanding by 2.5 per cent and the latter growing by 1.6 per cent.
Metropolitan areas in Quebec will post moderate economic gains in 2018. Real GDP in Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, and Saguenay is forecast to expand by 2.2 per cent, 1.9 per cent, and 1.6 per cent, respectively.
Economic conditions were strong in most southwestern and eastern Ontario metro areas last year, but cooler growth is in the cards this year. Rising interest rates will take a bite out of both consumer spending and housing market activity, the latter of which will also feel the pinch of tighter mortgage rules. Oshawa, Guelph, Windsor, Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo, London, Kingston, and St. Catharines–Niagara will see economic growth of between 1.4 and 2.4 per cent.
Real GDP growth will remain modest in northern Ontario. Greater Sudbury’s economy is projected to grow by 1.1 per cent this year, while Thunder Bay’s economy is expected to climb by 1.0 per cent.
This year’s economic laggard is expected to be Saint John, as U.S. anti-dumping duties on softwood lumber and the completion of major investment projects will limit real GDP growth to just 0.8 per cent.