Western cities will lead Canadian growth

By Staff | February 27, 2014 | Last updated on February 27, 2014
4 min read

Calgary, Regina, Edmonton and Saskatoon will lead Canadian metropolitan areas in economic growth in 2014. However, the economies of most cities in central and eastern Canada are expected to grow faster this year than in 2013, according to a Conference Board of Canada analysis of 28 Canadian census metropolitan areas (CMAs).

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Calgary’s economy is expected to improve slightly, thanks to broad-based growth in most industries, including accelerating activity in both construction and manufacturing. Economic growth in Calgary is on track to rise by 3.7% in 2014, the fastest among the 28 CMAs covered in this edition of the Metropolitan Outlook.

The construction of a new professional football stadium will help boost Regina’s construction sector. However, GDP growth is forecast to rise by a more moderate 3.5% this year, down from 5% in 2013, as growth slows in manufacturing and in the overall services sector.

Economic growth in Edmonton is set to moderate from 4.6% in 2013 to a still-solid 3.4% this year. Energy activity will continue to drive gains in the city’s primary and manufacturing sectors. Even though employment growth is expected to slow, domestic demand will remain strong.

Following impressive growth of 6.5% in 2013, Saskatoon’s GDP will expand by 3.2% this year, as ongoing strength in the services sector is offset by slower activity on the goods-side of the economy.

Real GDP in Winnipeg is forecast to rise 2% this year, up from 1.6% in 2013, thanks to stronger growth in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and public administration.

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo’s economy will grow by 2.9% this year, as construction starts on a light-rail system and manufacturing regains its stride.

Stronger growth in manufacturing and in many services industries will lift GDP growth to 2.8% in Toronto in 2014, up from 1.9% last year.

Renewed demand for goods produced in Oshawa is expected to boost growth in both manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing. Oshawa’s economy is expected to expand by 2.6% in 2014, following a 1.8% gain in 2013.

Hamilton is forecast to grow by 2.5% this year, a big improvement over the 0.7 increase in 2013. The opening of Maple Leaf’s new processing plant will help lift manufacturing output and, in turn, support a turnaround in transportation and warehousing this year.

Economic activity has been disappointing in London, St. Catharines-Niagara, and Kingston in recent years. While all three cities are expected to see stronger GDP gains this year, thanks in part to a recovery in manufacturing, growth will remain below the national average. GDP growth is expected to reach 2%, 1.9%, and 1.8%, respectively, in London, St. Catharines-Niagara, and Kingston.

Sudbury’s economy is forecast to grow by 1.6% this year, as increased mining activity boosts the CMA’s primary and utilities, and manufacturing sectors.

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Although Windsor’s economy is expected to pick up in 2014, led by improvements in manufacturing and construction, growth will remain moderate at 1.6%.

For the second year in a row, Thunder Bay’s GDP will expand by 1.5% in 2014, thanks to gains in non-residential construction and manufacturing.

Thousands of public service job cuts limited economic growth to just 0.3% in Ottawa-Gatineau in 2013. With fewer public sector layoffs expected this year and with non-residential construction activity expected to pick up, GDP growth is forecast to improve to 1.4%.

Following three years of growth below 2%, Montreal’s economy is forecast to expand by 2.2% in 2014, led by improvements in the manufacturing and construction sectors. In Québec City, growth in the goods sector will help boost the city’s economy by 2% in 2014, up from 0.8% in 2013.

Strength in manufacturing and in the overall services sector will help lift the economies of Sherbrooke and Saguenay by 2.1% and 1.4%, respectively, in 2014.

Real GDP growth in Trois-Rivières is forecast to rise 0.5% in 2014 after two years of contraction. Abbotsford-Mission’s economy will expand by 2.9% in 2014, thanks in particular to gains in primary and utilities output.

Vancouver and Victoria will both benefit from rebounds in non-residential construction and improvements in the services sector. In 2014, Vancouver’s economy is forecast to expand by 2.8%, while Victoria’s real GDP growth will come in at 1.8%.

With production at the Deep Panuke site ramping up this year, Halifax’s economy is forecast to grow by 2.8% in 2014, following a 1.9% expansion last year.

Moncton’s GDP growth will improve from 1.7% in 2013 to 2% in 2014, thanks in part to a recovery in transportation and warehousing.

Increased energy production at Point Lepreau will fuel growth of 1.8% in Saint John this year, the region’s strongest growth in four years.

St. John’s boasted one of the fastest growing economies in 2013, with total output expanding by 6%. But natural production declines in the offshore oil industry and lower construction output will limit growth to 1.7% this year.

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Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.