Changing of the guard

Halifax eclipsing St. John’s as Atlantic Canada’s top performing metropolitan economy

Changing of the guard

St. John’s has had one of the top-performing economies in Canada for much of the past decade. But that wasn’t the case in 2015, and 2016 won’t be any different.
In the Conference Board of Canada’s annual economic forecast for Canada’s 28 most populated metropolitan areas, it’s Halifax that is Atlantic Canada’s leading light. The Board says Halifax’s growth in real gross domestic product will be 2.9 per cent, trailing only Vancouver. Meanwhile, St. John’s growth in real gross domestic product will be 0.5 per cent – 26th overall.
What follows is a tally of how much growth the four cities from the region included in the forecast are expected to enjoy in 2016, and what’s driving that activity.

Real GDP growth: 2.9 %
Halifax’s solid economic growth this year will largely come from work accelerating at the Irving shipyard building ships for the navy, and a robust non-residential construction sector. Strong growth in the transportation and warehousing sector will help as well.

Real GDP growth: 2.3 %
The city’s projected growth ranks a rock solid eighth in Canada. A weak Canadian dollar and a stronger U.S. economy will increase manufacturing activity, and gains in construction and wholesale and retail trade will keep its economy humming.
Saint John
Real GDP growth: 2 %
The weak loonie and recovering U.S. economy benefits Saint John, too. The Board’s forecasting increased activity in the city’s forestry sector, and employment and income growth will also give wholesale and retail trade a boost.
St. John’s
Real GDP growth: 0.5%
Slumping oil and commodity prices have reduced activity in the mining and offshore oil sectors. Construction activity is also down as big projects resource projects near completion. Modest gains in the services sector keep the economy from posting negative growth.
Source: Conference Board of Canada 

Darren Campbell
About Darren Campbell

Born and raised in Cape Breton Island, Darren Campbell has a long career in journalism and in the magazine business. In the past nine years, the graduate of Acadia University and Ryerson University has served as editor of several resource and business magazines including Far North Oil & Gas (2004-2007), Up Here Business (2008-2009), and most recently, Alberta Oil (2011-2013). In 2007, Far North Oil & Gas was chosen by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors as Trade Magazine of the Year. In 2012, Alberta Oil was chosen as Magazine of the Year by the Canadian Business Press and chosen as Trade magazine of the Year in 2011 and 2012 by the Western Magazine Awards. In 2012, Darren's feature article that appeared in Alberta Oil, "Black Art" won the silver medal at the Canadian Business Press's Kenneth R. Wilson Awards for Best Resource Infrastructure Article.

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