Canadian Economic Forecast Sees Ontario, B.C. Leading The Way Through 2017

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Sunset over Vancouver, British Columbia. Along with Ontario, the province is forecast to lead economic growth in Canada through the end of 2017. | Andrey Popov via Getty Images
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OTTAWA — The Conference Board of Canada is predicting Ontario and British Columbia will lead other provinces in terms of economic growth between now and the end of 2017.

A provincial economic outlook released this morning by the Ottawa-based think-tank projects B.C.'s real gross domestic product to register three per cent in 2016 and again next year.

The report forecasts real GDP growth in Ontario to reach 2.8 per cent this year and 2.6 per cent in 2017.

The Conference Board says it doesn't expect 2016 and 2017 to be as kind to resource-dependent economies such as Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, where it predicts real GDP to shrink next year.

calgary

The Calgary skyline. Alberta's economy is predicted to shrink this year, but to return to growth in 2017. (Roman Adams via Getty Images)

The think-tank says while it expects the Albertan economy will contract by two per cent this year, it predicts the province to rebound in 2017 with 2.5 per cent growth.

It anticipates Alberta's bounce back will be due in part to a boost from rebuilding efforts following the wildfire damage in Fort McMurray and a continued recovery in oil prices.

The Conference Board is also predicting solid real GDP results this year for Prince Edward Island and Manitoba — the only other provinces besides Ontario and B.C. where it expects to see growth above two per cent.

The report said the Quebec economy is also strengthening thanks in part to an expected growth in its exports to the United States. It predicted real GDP in Quebec to hit 1.8 per cent in 2016 and two per cent in 2017.

The Conference Board report was released hours before the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development was to release its report on Canada's economy.

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