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British Columbia’s economy to win the gold in 2010; Ontario to get silver

Ottawa, ON -- The Winter Olympic Games and a more favourable outlook for the forestry and manufacturing sector...


Ottawa, ON — The Winter Olympic Games and a more favourable outlook for the forestry and manufacturing sectors will help British Columbia lead economic growth among Canadian provinces in 2010, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Provincial Outlook – Winter 2010.

“The recovery in Central and Western Canada began to take shape in the last few months and will continue to do so through 2010. In fact, all provinces are expected to post positive economic growth this year,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, associate director, Provincial Forecasting.

The Olympic Games will bring an estimated $770 million to BC’s economy this year, as business services, accommodation and food services, along with arts, entertainment and recreational activities get a big push. Building on this momentum, and as the recovery spreads to other sectors of the economy, real GDP in BC is expected to grow by 3.7% in 2010.

After dropping by 3.6% in 2009, Ontario’s economy is forecast to expand by 3.5% this year, outpacing the national average for the first time in nearly a decade. US demand for vehicles is expected to increase gradually, breathing life into Ontario’s battered manufacturing sector.

Alberta’s energy sector is set to bounce back and the domestic economy is expected to gather strength, lifting real GDP in the province by 2.5% this year. Alberta will continue to gain momentum into 2011, with real GDP forecast to jump by 4.1%.

Demand and prices plunged for most commodities last year, causing major goods producing industries in Saskatchewan to contract. Fuelled by a recovery in potash mining and a stronger domestic economy, Saskatchewan is expected to post growth of 2.5% in 2010.

After dropping by 5.5% last year, Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy is expected to grow by 2.4% in 2010, fuelled by investment in satellite offshore oil fields and development of the Long Harbour nickel processing plant.

Since Quebec was not as hard hit as Ontario or the Western provinces by the recession, it will experience only modest economic growth of 2.2% in the next two years, as the aerospace industry continues to suffer and public infrastructure stimulus winds down.

The Maritime provinces and Manitoba are expected to post economic growth of 2% or less this year. A drop in construction activity in Manitoba, the first in seven years, will be offset by growth in mining and manufacturing, leading to 2% growth in 2010.

Prince Edward Island’s economy avoided a recession in 2009, and GDP growth will ramp up to 1.9% in 2010 helped by ongoing public stimulus.

Nova Scotia is expected to post economic growth of 1.9% this year. The province’s domestic economy will continue to benefit from government stimulus spending and a revival in consumer demand.

New Brunswick is expected to ride the tide of economic recovery, albeit at a slower pace compared to other provinces, in part because it was one of the least affected by the recession. The province’s real GDP is expected to advance by only 1.7% this year.