Canadian Cities Facing Slower Growth Amid High Inflation

Ottawa, October 25, 2022 – The economies of most major cities across Canada are weathering soaring inflation and high interest as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19, according to new research from The Conference Board of Canada. The Major City Insights is intended to provide timely forecasts for growth in cities across Canada.

“Major cities across Canada are bouncing back while facing some headaches including the ongoing supply chain issues and other challenges sparked by the pandemic,” said Jane McIntyre, Principal Economist at The Conference Board of Canada. “We’re already seeing some of the steam being taken out of the housing markets in bigger cities as interest rates have slowed consumer spending.”

Key findings of the research include:

  • Saskatoon will see a strong economic recovery buoyed by a surge in the agriculture sector and will outpace all other major cities in Canada this year, with real GDP expected to grow by 7.2 per cent in 2022 and a further 3.9 per cent in 2023
  • Drought last year weighed down Regina’s economy, but the ongoing agriculture rebound and favourable conditions for the province’s other key commodities is expected to push the city’s real GDP growth to 6.1 per cent in 2022 and 3.3 per cent in 2023
  • Driven by a thriving energy sector, Edmonton’s real GDP is projected to reach 4.9 per cent in 2022 but moderate to 3.3 per cent in 2023
  • After some flooding in May, overall better weather and stronger prices are helping fuel a recovery in Winnipeg’s agri-business this year, boosting economic activity. This will help boost the city’s anticipated real GDP 4.0 per cent in 2022
  • Calgary’s real GDP regained its pre-pandemic peak in the first quarter of 2022 and is forecasted to reach 3.8 per cent this year, setting the stage for the strongest annual increase since the oil price collapse in 2014
  • To date, Toronto has done well in its economic recovery, with real GDP forecasted to reach 3.8 per cent in 2022 before settling to a more modest pace of 2.1 per cent in 2023
  • Ottawa–Gatineau’s economy has performed strongly this year, with significant job growth, infrastructure projects and healthy population growth acting as bright spots in our outlook. Real GDP is forecasted to reach 3.4 per cent in 2022, before settling to 2.0 per cent in 2023 as stubbornly high inflation and quickly rising interest rates continue to eat away at consumers’ purchasing power
  • Halifax’s strong recovery from the pandemic-induced economic contraction will continue through the remainder of the year, as real GDP is projected to reach 3.2 per cent in 2022 before slowing to 2.0 per cent in 2023
  • Even with the return of many festivals and cultural events, Montreal’s economy is slowing, hampered by rising interest rates, labour shortages, ailing consumer confidence and a correction in the housing market. Montréal’s real GDP is forecast to expand by 3.1 per cent in 2022
  • Economic activity in Hamilton began the year on a strong note, however activity is beginning to slow amid inflationary pressures and rising interest rates. Real GDP for the city in 2022 is forecast to reach 3.0 per cent, slowing to 2.2 per cent in 2023
  • Vancouver’s real estate market is cooling rapidly, as rising interest rates have slowed home sales and prices are beginning to decrease. The city’s real GDP is projected to increase by 2.8 per cent in 2022 and 2.2 per cent in 2023
  • Victoria’s job recovery is projected to continue next year, and real GDP will grow by 2.6 per cent 2022 followed by 1.8 per cent in 2023
  • In Québec City, elevated inflation is chipping away at consumers’ income and savings, but the housing market remains strong and prices continue rising despite a recent fall in sales. GDP is forecasted to expand by 2.5 per cent in 2022 followed by 1.6 per cent in 2023

The research on each individual city will be available here. Media should contact media@conferenceboard.ca with any questions or interview requests.

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