In a report released yesterday by the Bank of Montreal, entitled “Atlantic Canada’s Growth Challenge”, the BMO is warning Atlantic Canadians that “as stimulus turns to restraint, growth will be pressured by a combination of higher tax burdens, declining capital spending and sluggish labour force growth”. Kevin Lynch, BMO Vice Chair says that “Atlantic Canada has the most challenging demographics of any region of Canada, with trade most concentrated in countries and regions that are not beneficiaries of the global economic gravity shift”. Interesting figures presented in the report include:
- Newfoundland & Labrador leads the region with 3.5 per cent growth in 2011 and Nova Scotia expected to lead in 2012 with 1.9 per cent growth.
- Employment is growing fastest in Newfoundland & Labrador with growth rates of 3.9 per cent in 2011 and 0.9 per cent in 2012.
- Nova Scotia features the lowest unemployment rate in 2011 and 2012, 9.1 per cent and 9.2 per cent, with Newfoundland & Labrador posting the highest rate in 2011 at 12 per cent and Prince Edward Island the highest in 2012 at 12.2 per cent.
- Nova Scotia leading in housing starts in 2011, with a growth rate of 4.2 per cent, and New Brunswick leading in 2012 at 3.7 per cent.
- Consumer prices are expected to rise most in Nova Scotia in 2011, 3.6 per cent, and in Newfoundland & Labrador in 2012, 1.9 per cent.