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Manufacturing expected to help Hamilton area lead Ontario’s growth


Renewed demand in steel and growth in several other manufacturing industries is expected to fuel growth in the Hamilton area, helping it lead Ontario’s growth in the next year.

 According to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada, Hamilton’s GDP is forecast to expand by 2.5 per cent this year, thanks to this demand and growth.

The Toronto economy is also benefiting from a continued recovery in the manufacturing sector, combined with a healthy housing market and a number of nonresidential construction projects. All in all, overall economic growth is expected to come in at 2.3 per cent this year. The medium-term outlook for the Toronto CMA is rosier – the economy is expected to grow by an average of 3.1 per cent annually for the next four years, the fastest pace of expansion east of Saskatchewan.

As for the rest of Canada, Edmonton and Calgary are forecast to be the fastest growing census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in Canada – not only in 2012, but for the next four years.

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“Energy-related investment in Alberta is expected to stay vibrant throughout the next four years. For instance, about $29-billion worth of energy-related projects are now under way in the province, and nearly $86-billion worth of projects are proposed for the future,” Mario Lefebvre, director, Centre for Municipal Studies, said in a statement.

“Other Western cities, including Saskatoon, Regina and Vancouver, are expected to grow strongly in the years to come. Toronto’s economic performance is expected to rival that of its high-flying western counterparts, and manufacturing sectors are showing signs of revival in Montreal, Hamilton, Halifax and Winnipeg over the next few years. However, growth in cities such as Ottawa, Quebec City and Victoria will be affected by ongoing public sector restraint.”

An ongoing post-recession recovery in manufacturing and strength in construction will lead to an overall increase in real GDP of 3.1 per cent in Vancouver in 2012. Over the next four years, Vancouver’s economy will grow by 3.3 per cent annually, one of the fastest rates of growth in the country.

Winnipeg’s manufacturing sector is also expected to expand for the first time since 2008. Combined with healthy gains in home construction, Winnipeg’s real GDP growth will accelerate from 1.3 per cent in 2011 to two per cent this year.

Montréal’s manufacturing sector is poised for 2.6 per cent growth in 2012, its best result since 2000. But a sluggish construction industry and slower growth in the services sector will limit overall economic growth to 1.2 per cent in 2012.