MRO Magazine

Ontario and BC to share top spot among provincial economies in 2010

Ottawa, ON -- Propelled by a stronger domestic economy and a rebound in the auto industry, Ontario's economy w...


May 10, 2010
By MRO Magazine
MRO Magazine

Ottawa, ON — Propelled by a stronger domestic economy and a rebound in the auto industry, Ontario’s economy will rise from the ashes in 2010 to share top spot in provincial economic growth with British Columbia, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Provincial Outlook — Spring 2010.

“There are clear signs of economic recovery from coast to coast,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, associate director, provincial forecasting. “The improved domestic economies of Ontario and BC, along with increased demand from the United States, will support a strong rebound in both provinces. However, the rebound will be gradual for most other provinces, spreading over the next two years.”

A home-grown recovery is already underway in Ontario. Average housing prices have long since surpassed their pre-recession levels and employment has risen since the second half of 2009. Bolstered by stronger labour markets, Ontario consumers will resume purchasing big-ticket items. In all, Ontario’s real gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 3.8% in 2010.

British Columbia’s economy is also expected to expand by 3.8% in 2010, fuelled by a one-time Olympics boost and recovery in the forestry, manufacturing and construction sectors. However, with the Olympic stimulus out of the way and growth in the housing market expected to ease, the province’s GDP growth will moderate to 2.8% in 2011.


Alberta will benefit from a revival in drilling activity and stronger capital investment in the oil sands, but continued weakness in job creation will limit economic growth to 3.3% this year.

Saskatchewan’s economy is again firing on all cylinders and real GDP is expected to increase by 3.5% this year. The potash industry is slowly recuperating as global demand resumes for fertilizers. The agricultural sector is also expected to fare better this year.

Manitoba’s economy will benefit from a recovery in agriculture and manufacturing, as well as a mini-boom in nickel, copper and gold mining. But the province’s outlook will be tempered by a drop in construction activity, and real GDP is expected to expand by 2.2% in 2010.

Quebec’s economic recovery is stronger than previously anticipated, with real GDP expected to advance by 2.6% this year. The domestic economy is improving, as Quebecers are back in shopping malls and rushing to buy houses.

A host of major construction projects will compensate for weakness in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil industry and the impact of a labour dispute in the mining sector. Growth of 2.4% is forecast in 2010. Next year, the province is expected to lead the nation in growth, due to a brief upswing in offshore production that will boost GDP by 4.5%.

Nova Scotia’s economy will continue to benefit from the $800 million in infrastructure stimulus spending by the government. In addition, a revival in consumer demand will help lift growth in real GDP by 2.2% this year. In Prince Edward Island, a steady stream of government public infrastructure spending will boost the economy by 2.2%.

A large drop in business investment and a modest recovery in New Brunswick’s manufacturing sector will limit the province’s economic growth over the next two years. With real GDP growth of 1.8%, New Brunswick will post the smallest gain among provinces in 2010.