OTTAWA, December 19 - Western
Canadian cities will top the list of the fastest growing
metropolitan economies in Canada next year, just as they
did in 2005, according to the Conference Board's
Metropolitan Outlook - Winter 2006.
"In 2005, western Canada boasted eight of the nine
fastest-growing metropolitan economies, led by Edmonton.
In 2006, four of the top five are expected to be in the
west," said Mario Lefebvre, Director, Metropolitan
Thanks to Olympic-related activity, another year of
exceptional growth is expected in the construction
sector in 2006, paving the way for Vancouver to have the
fastest growing economy in Canada next year. Almost
31,000 new jobs are expected to be created in Vancouver
in 2006, and real gross domestic product (GDP) is
forecast to grow by four per cent.
Calgary's real GDP is expected to grow by 3.8 per cent
in 2006, a slightly slower pace of activity than in
2005. Strong non-residential construction and services
sector activity will support employment growth and, in
turn, domestic demand.
After a relatively modest performance in 2005, real GDP
in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) is
forecast to expand by a robust 3.7 per cent in 2006, its
fastest growth rate in four years. Manufacturing
activity is expected to pick up, as the sector completes
its adjustment to the stronger dollar. Between 2007 and
2010, economic growth in Toronto is expected to surpass,
on average, that of all other Canadian cities.
The economy of Abbotsford, B.C., is expected to expand
by 3.1 per cent, its third consecutive year of sound
growth. Continued strong population growth is supporting
robust activity in the CMA's services sector.
With real GDP growth of 5.2 per cent, Edmonton led all
metropolitan economies in 2005. Growth will moderate to
a still healthy three per cent in 2006, as
energy-related investment remains strong and employment
rebounds from a one-year pause in 2005.
A recovery in the goods sector in 2006, particularly in
manufacturing and construction, will boost Halifax's
real GDP growth to 2.9 per cent.
After underperforming for three straight years, Ottawa-Gatineau's
economy is expected to grow by 2.9 per cent next year.
Leading the way will be very healthy non-residential
construction activity, with the recovering high-tech
sector providing support.
Saskatoon's economy, which posted a 4.5 per cent gain in
2005, will expand by a further 2.9 per cent in 2006.
This economy, a model of consistency over the past few
years, will record a softer pace of job growth in 2006.
After posting real GDP growth greater than three per
cent in 2005, the economies of Regina, Winnipeg and
Victoria will slow down somewhat, each recording
increases slightly over two per cent in 2006. Winnipeg
and Regina will enjoy solid non-residential construction
activity and healthier employment gains, while output
growth in the services sector of both cities
will slow. In Victoria, growth will decelerate in both
the goods and services sectors.
The Metropolitan Outlook, published quarterly, provides
economic insights into 27 CMAs, the provinces, and
For more information contact:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations,
Tel: (613) 526-3090 ext. 448