NEWS

Toronto tops CIBC momentum index

01/19/2012 03:43 EST | Updated 03/20/2012 05:12 EDT

One of Canada's largest banks says Toronto is once again leading the country in terms of economic momentum.

CIBC says its the second consecutive year that Canada's largest city has topped its Canadian Metropolitan Economic Activity Index, a scorecard of Canada's 25 largest urban areas, ranked by a number of factors to gauge the city's economic momentum. The index tracks things like employment, building permits, bankruptcy rates and housing starts.

CIBC says the city's index of economic momentum is currently at its highest level in more than 10 years.

"While the recession saw the city losing ground faster than the rest of the country’s largest CMAs, its recovery trajectory has been much more impressive with the city’s index of economic momentum currently at its highest level in more than 10 years," CIBC economist Benjamin Tal said in the report.

And while Toronto did not lead in any one of the sub-measures CIBC uses, the bank says it was a consistently strong performer across most of the nine key macroeconomic variables in the index.

It says that reflects the growing diversity of the city's economic engine. Employment in the city increased by 4.6 per cent in Toronto versus 3.4 per cent nationally — with a larger portion of Toronto’s new jobs being full-time positions.

The number of personal and business bankruptcies fell much faster in Toronto compared to the average of all other cities, the bank noted, while growth in housing starts outpaced the rest of the country by a wide margin.

Toronto led the way with a reading of 23.0. Second on the index was Edmonton at 20.0, followed by Kitchener at 18.0, Halifax at 16.8 and Vancouver at 15.5.

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