Ontario economic update projects growth
Chamber, Credit Unions report forecasts GDP, employment to rise in 2016
TORONTO — Most areas of Ontario will enjoy improving economic conditions in 2016, according to a forecast by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Credit Unions of Ontario.
Their report, based on provincial and regional data, sees growth driven in part by exports, the result of a stronger US economy and a low Canadian dollar. Federal and provincial infrastructure commitments will also stimulate growth across a variety of sectors.
Unemployment is expected to drop from its current rate of 6.9% to 6.3% by 2017 – the lowest rate since the recession. And GDP will grow 2.5% this year, followed by 2.6% next year and 3% in 2017.
But there are challenges ahead, says the report, which cites the impact low metal prices and slowing Chinese demand are having on the mining industry and Northern Ontario. And fallout from poor oil and natural gas markets, which are affecting energy producing provinces such as Alberta, will affect interprovincial exports.
Economic growth will be distributed unevenly across regions. Growth will be “slight” in Northern Ontario, while the central and southwestern regional economies will be the province’s main growth drivers.
Toronto and Hamilton are expected to experience strong residential sales and lead residential price increases. Toronto’s housing market will continue to perform well, with prices projected to grow by 8.7% in 2016 to reach an average sale price of $680,000.
Here are some additional highlights:
• Exports are projected to grow from $11.2 billion in 2015 to $16.5 billion in 2016 and a $20.4 billion in 2017.
• Total employment is expected to grow by 0.8% in 2015, before growing 1.5% in 2016 and 1.4% in 2017.
Click here for a copy of the report.