Vancouver is forecasted to have Canada’s fastest-growing metropolitan economy in 2015, surging beyond the growth rates of the major urban regions of Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.
According to the Conference Board of Canada’s fall 2015 outlook for major regions, Metro Vancouver’s economy will grow at a rate of 3.4 per cent this year, in part due a resurgence in the region’s manufacturing industry.
“Vancouver’s economy is on track to extend its streak of strong growth this year,” said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies in a statement. “In fact, 2015 will mark the fifth time in the past six years that growth in the region has topped three per cent.”
“The manufacturing sector will lead the way this year, but widespread gains are expected across all sectors of the city’s economy.”
Seaspan’s North Vancouver shipyards has launched its substantial shipbuilding program for the federal government, a contract worth $11.3 billion to build 17 non-combat vessels for both the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. The orders, to be completed over the next 25 years, will include large naval supply ships and a heavy icebreaker.
Overall, manufacturing output will reach an impressive 8.6 per cent in 2015.
As well, the region is experiencing strong and steady growth within its services sector, with wholesale and retail trade, finance, insurance and real estate, and business services forecasted to see growth rates of four per cent by the end of the year.
The robust economic growth will occur even with a short-term dip in construction output compared to 2014, but the Conference Board expects the slump to be short-lived.
The number of new housing starts will increase to 20,800, by about 8.1 per cent, and remain near this level over the next several years. Non-residential construction is also expected to remain healthy.
While Vancouver is expected to see gains across all sectors of its economy, the same cannot be said for its neighbours in Alberta. Slumping oil prices have caused Calgary and Edmonton’s urban regions to fall into a recession.
Economic growth rates in Canadian cities in 2015
1. Vancouver: +3.4%
2.= Toronto: +2.6%
2.= Winnipeg: +2.6%
4. Halifax: +2.3%
5. Montreal: +2.1%
6. Quebec City: +1.8%
7. Saskatoon: +1.7%
8. Regina: +1.6%
9. Victoria: +1.4%
10. Ottawa-Gatineau: +0.7%
11. Calgary: -0.5%
12. Edmonton: -0.1%