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Western cities expected to lead growth, Conference Board report says


October 1, 2013
By The Canadian Press

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Cities in Western Canada are expected to lead the country’s metropolitan areas in economic growth this year, a report by the Conference Board of Canada says.

Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver make up the top five in the board’s latest outlook for 13 Canadian metropolitan areas, while Ottawa-Gatineau and Victoria are at the bottom of the list.

Growth in Saskatoon is forecast to reach 5.2 per cent this year, up from 4.1 per cent in 2012, while Regina is expected to grow by five per cent, repeating its performance last year.

“Despite some setbacks, Saskatchewan’s economy is expected to perform well in the near term, with real GDP forecast to expand 3.5 per cent this year — more than twice the national average,” the report said.

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Calgary is expected to grow by 3.3 per cent, Edmonton by 4.2 per cent and Vancouver by 2.2 per cent.

The five Western Canadian cities stand in contrast with the other eight areas studied, which are expected to grow by less than two per cent this year.

In Toronto, which is expected to be hampered by weaker manufacturing and services sectors, growth will be limited to 1.6 per cent in 2013.

Halifax is forecast to post growth of 1.7 per cent, while Winnipeg is expected to grow by 1.4 per cent.

Montreal, Quebec City and Hamilton are each expected to grow about 1.3 per cent this year.

Ottawa-Gatineau is expected to expand by 0.8 per cent in 2013 due to spending cuts by the federal government.

Victoria is expected to grow by 0.1 per cent.