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Calgary economy to lead the country in 2012

3.7% growth this year

Calgary's economy will regain its place as one of the fastest growing census metropolitan areas in Canada over the next two years, says the Conference Board of Canada.


In its Metropolitan Outlook Winter 2011 edition, the board says "the continued recovery in the energy sector will boost economic growth by 3.7 per cent in 2011 and above four per cent the following year, placing Calgary at the top of the growth leaderboard in 2012."


But the board says Canada's slowing economy will weigh on growth in most of the 27 census metropolitan areas across the country. Only Windsor, Calgary, Oshawa, Regina, Saskatoon, London, Sherbrooke, Winnipeg, and Thunder Bay can expect higher real gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year than in 2010.


"Most Canadian cities rebounded well from the recession. This year, however, a weaker domestic economy, winding down of federal and provincial government stimulus measures, and uncertain economic conditions in the United States will result in stable or lower growth in a majority of cities," said Mario Lefebvre, Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, at the conference board.


Windsor is forecast to post the fastest growing metropolitan economy in 2011. Real GDP is forecast to rise 3.9 per cent this year.


The board says Regina's economy will benefit from the provincial resource boom and enjoy growth of 3.5 per cent in 2011. "This growth will support employment increases and, in turn, maintain in-migration and demand for housing."


It says Saskatoon is poised to regain its position as one of Canada's fastest-growing CMAs in 2011, with GDP forecast to rise 3.4 per cent. "Saskatoon's construction sector is expected to grow robustly through the medium term, and residential construction will continue to fuel activity in the finance, insurance, and real estate sector."


And the board says higher oil prices helped boost Edmonton's economy by 3.7 per cent in 2010. While GDP growth will moderate to 2.6 per cent in 2011, the CMA's economy is expected to grow by four per cent in 2012.


Source: The Calgary Herald, 2011-02-22


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